Ahh, sorry. For the ones who read this before, this "update" changes nothing, I only added this notes... Sorry. Well, this is a one-shot fic. Hope you'll like it.
"A Valentine for Alina"
It was a starry sky, and the moon was shinning brightly, as if it had another power. The town, placed in Pherae, also seemed different, like it had another aura blessing it.
"Of course everything seems different!", Alina, the young tactician for hire thought bitterly for herself. "If it seems that the very moon is blessing the loving couples from the sky"
It was the day before St Valentine's, and that drove her into a state of bad humor and annoyance.
"Could it be that I'm still single, without any guy at sight, even after meeting that big amount of men in a two years period of time?!?", she thought, almost desperately, sighing in the balcony of the old Pheraen Inn, under the romantic, starry sky. That put her even more nervous.
"Yeah, it must be something within me that makes me still single, even though I'm not a decrepit old woman", she went on ranting. "It used to happen also back at home", she thought, remembering that period of her life. "Every time I was with a guy –a potential boyfriend, someone nice, cute, interesting- and he asked me what I was studying or which was my job, when I replied that I was studying to become a tactician or that I was already one, their nice 'winner' smile fall down and the 'date' was finished there and the 'incoming romance' was over, as I wouldn't go out with them again. Yeah, they would make the effort to hide their horrible surprise, but that was even more painful. Why did that have to happen?!? I was just following the family tradition of becoming tacticians, and the worst part is that I enjoy it! And even worst is the fact that if I told them I was a heroine, a wyvern rider or even a mage, they would have asked my hand in marriage!", she thought, punching the balcony's rail, and hurting her hand in the process, as she hadn't calculated the "acceleration" and "force" of her punch.
After a few seconds insulting her fate and her silliness, she returned to her topic. "If I decided to leave my comfortable home in Nodion was because I wanted to see new lands, meet different people, improve my 'tactician skill' and... to find a boyfriend!!!!!! All the guys back at home were just too straight-minded, they thought a woman couldn't guide an army or a bunch of mercenaries. And now look at myself...", she stared at the night with a look of pride in her eyes, which would have also made her parents proud. After all, having saved the whole of Elibe, and also the world, was something big, only for capable people... or for a quite lucky person. She just stayed in a horse (when she was extremely lucky that one of the cavaliers or paladins outside the battle allowed her to rest in their horse), yelling at the others to "move right or left", or to stay there doing nothing in front of a powerful enemy, like those times when Sain stayed next to a female enemy, trying to get a date, or the time Florina said she was feeling confident enough to finish off a weak archer, and so she told her to do it, but the archer evaded her lance, and stroke Florina, and then another one who popped from nowhere, and another... If it wasn't for the others, they would have had to bury her right after the battle was over.
Alina giggled, thinking in how scared Florina returned, apologizing as she always did, but also a bit enraged against the tactician, as Alina hadn't made her think it better.
Then she sighed bitterly for the second time. "And the other reason because I left home is that it was far too boring there. How could I be a tactician if there wasn't any conflict there? Not that I want war everywhere, of course not, but... anyway, nobody would have hired me, of course not"
"And what have I got? Yes, I know, I really progressed as a tactician. After all, with my pieces of advice, my 'bunch of mercenaries' could defeat Caelin soldiers, Laus soldiers, bandits, Black Fang members, morphs, crazy old magicians and even a dragon! Where can you find that?", she thought, trying to cheer herself up, but without success. "I would like to see that senile, old fools of Nodion faces if they got to know about my campaign", she said, as a relief.
"But about boys... I'm empty-handed. It's not fair! After travelling long distances, giving orders in tough battles, having coped with either silly or extravagant beings, and after having millions and millions of BLISTERS in my poor feet... I'm still single, without anyone to consider a boyfriend!!! Why?!?!? I'm sure that that old, disgusting, ripping off fortune-teller, Hannah, got someone, while I'm here, at a stupid balcony in an old inn, alone! It's not fair!", she yelled the last sentence with anger, and some passer-byes looked up to find who yelled that, but she walked away from the balcony quickly, so no one could see her.
"And the worst part is that I can't say I had let the opportunity go, because no one repaired on me. It was just that easy", she went on ranting for herself, returning to the balcony and leaning over the balcony's rail.
"At least that's what I think. Let's see if I'm wrong...". And that way, she started thinking in every guy she had under her orders or met during the last two years...
"First victim: Kent. Oh, Kent, the cavalier from Caelin. That bright red hair, those reddish eyes, that serene expression he had in his eyes, that gave you confidence and security when you looked straight at them...", her green eyes were shinning lively. "He sure was a cutie, after all, but he couldn't think in anything else than in his work: protect Caelin and Lyn. 'Lady Lyndis this, Lady Lyndis that', that was the only thing he could think about. Nothing else. He could hurry me to reach Caelin sooner, although I could be bleeding from that damned blisters, but he wanted to reach Caelin soon with 'Lyndis', and he wouldn't care about anything in the world. Oh, wait! He let me travel in his horse once, when I was bleeding because of my blisters! He cared after me a little after all! But he had his eyes fixed in 'Lady Lyndis'", Alina ranted, and then an idea came to her mind. "Oh, poor gal! How could their parents called her 'Lyndis'?!? It sucks! Oh, well, as if Alina were a wonderful, nice and charming name..:", she thought, with her bitter mood.
"Then, Sain! No, no, no, never ever! He's after any skirt he sees, even that of an elderly woman! I wonder if Hannah... no, that would have been TOO much!", Alina's suspicion was very offensive to the poor Sain, who couldn't have THAT bad taste. Anyway, it was funny that thought, as well as worrying, and she started laughing that hard that she thought in Nergal's evil laughter. "I should control myself", she said quickly, stopping her laughter. "In what was I? Oh, yes, Sain! Yeah, a good boy, but lacks brain, and he would start chasing every girl... No, no. I need someone exclusively for me...", and with the last sentence, she hugged herself, thinking in the arms that could be embracing her at that moment... but no one was there with her.
"Wil, the archer and merchant from Pherae. Well, he sure was a social guy, and he was quite cheerful, but that's the only relation I had. And I can't think of him in another way, just as a friend."
"Dorcas! Too silent, I think I never saw him smiling...", Alina started recalling past memories. "No, I don't remember. He would do anything for his wife... and that thing does really count. Will I ever find someone who could put his own life in danger for me?", her last thought saddened her, and a tear was about to fall from her deep green eyes... "However, I never liked him, for some unknown reason. Maybe he was too harsh for my tastes? On to the following..."
"Erk! Glorious Erk! Charming Erk!", she exclaimed, cheerfully. That poor youth was surely the blank of jokes, but she couldn't help it, he was too awesome for her. "I mean, he was like the small brother I would have loved to have", she corrected herself, thinking in her life as a lone child. "Anyway, Serra 'caught' him first, although he would prefer to escort a "come-from-death" Nergal and his army of reawakened morphs instead of being with her again. I don't blame him, he has his reasons. Too focused in his magic study, but he really deserves a monument for having dealt with Serra..."
"Who's next? Ah, Lucius, St Elimine's acolyte! A good... guy, although we had to wait after the battle to realize if it was a him or a her. Poor guy, he really suffered due to that! Too feminine, I wonder how he would look like if he had a hair cut done... The worst is that I can't imagine that...", she thought, making an effort to imagine a short-haired Lucius, wearing something different to his monk dress, but she failed miserably. "Anyway, he was too focused in his service to St Elimine... and in Raven later...", Alina shivered, and tried to wash away any other thought about Lucius.
"Nils... you've got to be kidding me! That would have been "child corruption", pedophilia! No way! I could have been the lad's mother... Hey, not the mother, but his elder, elder sister...", she thought, making counts about the lad's possible age and her own...
"Matthew, the young thief and spy... he was funny and had some great occurrences, but he already had a sweetheart, Leila, although she passed away... However, I never thought of him as a possible candidate..."
"Rath... That mystery 'aura' he had surrounding him, it was just... awesome", Alina went on, in fond remembrance. "That 'runaway' look, so proper of the Sacaen people, that silence...", but soon the 'idyllic moment' was over. "But he was always that silent that could scare you. He was thinking in anything else..."
"Wallace... Wallace?!? Come on, he could be my grandpa!", the young tactician exclaimed annoyed. Then, calming herself down, she continued with her 'boy's rant', "Alright, calm down, Ally. Well, not my grandad, but my dad... He sure had some sense of humor, but what I really enjoyed, and I really laughed at when no one was around was his lack of orientation. Boy, he was in Bern thinking it was the right way to Caelin! I almost burst laughing when he said that! Lyn had to say that it was something that I ate at breakfast that made me feel badly, and then no one wanted to eat anything cooked by Florina and her sister Fiora from that time on! That was really hilarious!", she said, laughing so hard that she would fell from the balcony.
"Alright, calm down, silly gal", she told herself, cooling off. But she couldn't stay calm for two seconds, because the laughter returned as fast as it has gone.
"Well, after staying in Castle Caelin for a little time, I left, and well, a year later I saw some trouble while staying at a Pheraen Inn and I offered my services to young Lord Eliwood, son of Marquess Pherae, who I met a year later while travelling with Lyn. He was the one who rescued Nils' sister, Ninian... And again, I got myself into a pretty big mess. Who would have thought that the disappearance of a committee would be involved in a 'dragon affair'? Yeah, that was quite mysterious, the disappearance of a committee, but well, I had no idea it would end up in that!", she said, defending herself from her own conscience.
"Talking about Eliwood... he had a wonderful red hair, wondrous gentle eyes, let's say that good character, a bit moody, but it could work. Sometimes, he seemed to adore me, all those times I "saved" them from being defeated by: bandits/Laus soldiers/Black Fang members/morphs/ Nergal/dragon (cross out the wrong option/s)", she said, thinking in her almost 'immediate past'. "Anyway, he sure had a crush with Ninian, so I can only be the couple's 'Cheerleader'", she thought, sighing bitterly –again.
"Then... Marcus. Oh, yeah! If Wallace is my granddad, he's my great-uncle", she thought, ironically. "Yeah, the first Paladin I got, would give his life for Pherae, but he was so distrusting. I think that if he had had enough time, he would have contacted Marquess Ostia before and would have sent the whole Ostian spy network to investigate me before accepting my help. Grr... I hate that! Everybody seems to think I'm not capable of anything..:"
"Lowen... ha, what a character. I wonder what kind of eyes he has under that fringe..."
"Bartre, another axe-fighter. Well, he seemed energetic, always looking for a decent challenge to prove he was a good mercenary or fighter. Apart from that, I have no comments".
"Who's next? Ah, Oswin. Following the same rule I used with Wallace, he would be my elder (but really elder) brother. At least he didn't think of me as an "amateur, maybe capable" tactician, and that's something! He really was loyal to his country..."
"Then, Hector, Marquess Ostia's younger brother", Alina thought, almost making a complete CV of him. "Well, at first he seemed nothing but a brute, a long lost relative of those bandits groups that roam all over Elibe", she thought, very severely. "Then, he turned out to be a good guy, very loyal to his friends and to his people, and he even had a paternal side, that time carrying Nils in the scorching Nabata desert..."
"Guy, the swordmaster of Sacae. For some reason, I didn't like him. He was too east to convince –or to trick- so maybe that's what I didn't like it. Anyway, he had a fixed goal: becoming the best swordmaster in Sacae, and he won't give up that easily... I think"
"Raven, my cutie young mercenary... my little, runaway type Raven, also known as Raymond by Priscilla! What a wonderful reddish hair he has!! Seems I have a soft spot for reddish hair cuties!", Alina exclaimed, excited, thinking very well of Raven. She was smiling nervously, anxiously, as she hadn't done all the way before in her "boys analysis". "He had that expression that made him seem so independent, and yet you could see that something was wrong within him... But I wouldn't have cared! He sure awakened my maternal instinct...", she thought, calming herself down from that excitement awakened by Raven's memory. "Now, I wonder what happened to him... I just hope he hadn't stayed with Lucius...", she thought, worried and shivering. That wasn't something she would want to ever see or come to know.
"Canas, the purple haired shaman! He had a very intellectual look, after all he was a scholar!", she thought, smiling again. But her smile faded in a second. "But he was far too concentrated in his study of magic. I think that maybe if I had been a Dragon Stone, or the descendant of an old and powerful mage, he would have noticed me then...", she thought bitterly, and then she had an idea.
"What would have happened if I had said one day this: 'Look, Canas, I'm St Elimine herself!!'?". She acted the last part, acting very exaggeratedly that exclamation, shaking her hands as if she had some kind of temblor. Lucius would have said that that was sortilege, and she was about to believe that, when she heard a strong noise coming from somewhere near her. She looked in all the directions she could, just to find a kid looking down the balcony at a destroyed flowerpot on the floor, which he had surely dropped wither by accident or as a mischief.
"That was a sign. I should better leave this nonsense before a lightning strikes at my head", she told for herself, fearful of what she had done.
"On to the next... Dart. Thanks, I'll pass", she thought, disgusted. "Yeah, he took care of all of us, but he was far too foul-mouthed! He would have to take manner and speech classes before going on a date with me!", she said, trying to cheer herself up with some harsh comments. "Alright, alright, I'm sorry", she apologized later, product of her remorse. "Well, he was raised in a pirate crew, so what more can you expect?"
"Then... Hawkeye, Guardian of the Desert... Too silent, and he had the best of ideas to have tattoes done in his face!", she said, ironically. "I guess that he took that decision after drinking all the beer available at Arcadia! He was too silent for my tastes, and I wouldn't live in the desert, not at all. And, he couldn't speak fluently, apparently. He was missing words all over his sentences. Must have been that tattoe in his face. And, did I mentioned he was too old for my tastes?"
"I was missing Legault... I never liked him, and I think it worked the same way for him. He was too arrogant, too treasure hungry"
"And I killed Heath, also!", she said, remembering the odd haired man. "What had he done to his hair?!? I don't know if I like more his hair-style than Hawkeye's tattoes... Well, a bad day at the hairdresser can happen to anyone. He had some precious morals under his hair, and that's what it counts, but nothing came from it..."
"Oh, and now, Lord Pent! Pent, my pretty boy!!!", Alina exclaimed in the "summit" of her excitement and joy. "Oh, he was so cool!!! So unusual, so stylish, so nice, so unconventional for a ruler (reminds me of Hector in that, although he's not a ruler, yet), but he's already married, MARRIED!", her joy descended to hell quite fast, and she burst into tears. Being next to St. Valentine's day, still single and thinking in all the men she met in the past two years was depressing for her, yet, she was going on with that useless rant. And the only thought of Pent, who couldn't be much older than her (late twenties, maybe?), who wasn't a fossil but wasn't in her teens anymore (she was in her humble early twenties), drove her into a state of despair, and made her cry. A lot.
"I'm fine, I'm fine", she said, drying up her silly tears, calming herself down. "Well, that was Pent", she said, ending that point in her 'boys rant'.
"Karel, a swordmaster. Yeah, he had attitude, but he was focused in becoming better and better. Gosh, I think I'll have to turn into a sword after all, if I want to have a boyfriend!"
"Jaffar!", Alina exclaimed, thinking in that odd guy. "Well, he had a heart after all. Deep down that 'soulless' and 'heartless' image he gave at first impression –and second, and third, and so on- there was a caring, kind being. Oh, but it owes it to Nino! Even silly, ultra-energetic mage youths manage to find someone while I'm still single!", she thought, angrily and annoyed. "Oh, wait a sec!", she exclaimed, even more annoyed than before, "Even DRAGONS and MORPHS could find a 'sweetheart'! I'm over!!", she exclaimed, punching her fist against the balcony... again, while thinking in Ninian, Eliwood's sweetie, and in Sonia, Nergal's creation.
"All right, all right, I think I should stop doing this", she thought, as a way to calm herself down. "Oh, but I have a few guys left, so let's finish with this"
"Renault, the... what was he? Ah, yes, a bishop! I don't know anything about him, so I can't have an opinion, only that he just appeared once at the camp and then he vanished as he had appeared. He just thought of resting, so he must have been a pensioner. And I think that he could have been my father!"
"Athos, one of the 8 legends, generals? I can never recall how do they call them here. Well, yes, this one was just a millennia old, so he's out of the question"
"Lastly... Merlinus. Hell, I guess I'm gonna vomit", she said, feeling like a punch at her stomach. "NEVER! I'd rather die!", she exclaimed, surprised of her ability to punish herself so fiercely. "I never liked him. He was too cheerful, that for me had a very severe neurosis! Remember the first time I saw him, 'Oh, my goods, my finest goods! I have to go to Pherae and sell them'. He was far too ridiculous, the 'neurotic merchant or transporter'!"
"Well, those were all my 'subordinates', but there were some people there that could have been interesting, like some townies, or even some enemies, but well... I think that from now on I'll spend my journeys looking for cutie guys... I can't be that unlucky to not find anyone single... or am I?", she asked herself, worried. She could have sworn that she heard someone like Serra in her head, replying "Yes, you are! Yes, you are! Follow my example and enter as a cleric!"
Alina felt her forehead, thinking she would take her hand on fire, but she was alright. "Too much cokies", she sentenced, staring at her bag, full of 'junk food' and books. And a stick to defend herself from bandits.
"Alright, let's think in the other guys I met, so I can kill that 'Serra' from my head", she decided, worried.
"Jack, the novice pirate", she started, making efforts to kill that annoying voice and to think in the young pirate apprentice. "Well, he wasn't a pretty-boy but he had his score, he was kind, he was calm, he was... normal for a pirate. And, he left his gal at the shore. If, she, Anna, the gal at the Inn, hadn't been that nice, I...", she raised her hand, stopping her speech. "Go no further, Alina, or you'll regret it for the rest of your life"
"Then, we have Fargus", her face made an ugly gesture. "Well, he ended up being a good guy, the Captain, as he gave us an expensive an almost non-existent Earth Seal, but he's out of the question: NEVER EVER IN MY LIFE!!! Now that I think of it, Eliwood couldn't be more diplomatic and formal when he first spoke to him because he lacked either the time or the expressions! Come on! How can you treat someone whose only sight stinks of beer so formally, even when the other treats you as part of his crew or something worse than that! That kid should have known something of the real world before..."
"But the one who was quite strange for a ruler was Lord Uther, Marquess Ostia and Hector's infamous bro", Alina said, thinking in the young Marquess. "Well, to be sincere, I hoped for more when I first saw him. I could have mistaken him for any mercenary! And I think he thought the same when he saw me, as he analyzed me from head to toe when Hector said I was the tactician. Yes, another idiot who may have thought that I wasn't nothing more than an amateur... Thank goodness, he made no joke or comment about that, and that's something!", she exclaimed, relieved. "Now... how did he get those scars in his face?!? Goodness, being reckless is like an illness in that family..."
"And last, but not least, the Reed brothers: Lloyd and Linus Reed, Black Fang members", Alina said, almost coming to an end on is rant. "First we have Lloyd... ahhh, Lloyd", Alina sighed, romantically, her eyes turning into two little bright hearts. But as always, the magic lasted far too short. "Why did you have to die?!? And twice!!!", she exclaimed, in despair... again. "If a bandit like him would have come to kill me, I would have died happily... Furthest, the one I liked more -followed by my serious, cutie, workaholic 'Kenty'-, even if I couldn't talk to him... Ahhh, seems that the Bern townies influence got me... Bwahahahahah, I want my White Wolf!!!!!!", she exclaimed, bursting into tears...
"And last, his brother Linus. Thanks, I'll pass. Too brute, too harsh. Now I understand why he was called the 'Mad Dog', I was just waiting for him to bark at me. 'Barking dog doesn't bite'", she said, bitterly, in the same mood as when she began her ranting.
"All right, see? Who wasn't too old, was too young, or wasn't interested, or only wanted to train, or was already engaged... No one was interested in me, nor it showed the slightest hint of interest...", she concluded, saddened. "Nobody saw me as anything nut a tactician! They all just saw 'Alina, the tactician' but no one ever thought of 'Alina, the woman'. And everybody, at least at the beginning, treated me so formally that I wanted to vomit. Why on Elibe and on this world did they treat me so formally if I wasn't that old, I wasn't an authority and I was just a few years older than the majority of them?!?!?!?!?!?!?!"
"The worst is that I like everyone! I like: Kent's seriousness, Sain's skirt-chases, Wil's, sociability, Dorca's love for his wife, Erk's resignation, Nils' liveliness, Lucius'... er, kindness?, Matthew's occurrences, Rath's 'mistery aura', Wallace's lack of orientation, Eliwood's nobleness, Marcus' distrust, Lowen's fringe, Bartre's challenges, Hector's loyalty, Oswin's reliability, Guy's goals, Raven's troubles, Canas' devotion to work, Dart's slang, Legault's arrogance, Pent's style, Hawkeye's strenght, Heath's morals, Karel's attitude, Jaffar's silence, Renault's resting, Athos' history and even Merlinus' neurosis!! I just loooove everyone!!!"
With that, Alina thought her ranting was over. The moon was still up there, still blessing the lovers from above the sky... and the unlucky ones in love.
"Well, time to sleep. Or else I won't get up tomorrow in time to evade those 'lovely, cute, and all that kind of adjective couples'", she said, and, as a kind of relief she added, "Well... at least I'm somehow lucky: neither Nergal nor Ephidel were interested in me."
Sorry, I always do the same thing. I always upload the
story and I alway forget to comment someting about it. =/
Oh, and to Swords of Seals (first reviewer, yes!), you have just gave me an idea, but I won't be able to write it that soon. About the tactician thing, I don't know.