My Big Fat Aquios Wedding
1st Note: This is post game.
2nd Note: If you like the story let me know. I need feedback if I'm going to continue this one.
3rd Note: OOC-ness ahead!
4th Note: Really, REALLY, bad jokes ahead. You have been warned.
Disclaimer: Star Ocean 3 belongs to Tri-Ace/Ubisoft/Square-Enix.
Part One: An Audience with the Queen or Nel Gets Screwed
Nel Zelpher, saver of the universe, expert runologist, and Crimson Blade, knelt before the Queen, worried. The Queen's advisor looked way too happy. He had this maniacal grin plastered on his face that would do the Captain of the Black Brigade proud. The Queen, as usual, looked as serene as ever. In fact, she looked more serene than usual, given the circumstances. Nel was sure this was about another forced vacation. She was right... and wrong.
"We are concerned with how much you over work yourself Nel," the Queen began. "I've ordered you on plenty of vacations, but you always seem to find work to do. At this rate, you'll work yourself to death."
"I am sorry to concern you so."
"It has occurred to Us that the reason you work so hard is that it is the only thing you have to do. As you will eventually need an heir and have not made any steps in the direction, We have decided to arrange your marriage for you."
Nel's jaw hit the ground. Literally. She pulled herself off the floor and back into her kneeling position. Her mouth opened and closed several times, but no words came out.
"We have found a very suitable husband for you. He will meet you at the inn in Peterny to begin the wedding arrangements."
The advisor opened his mouth. "I'm sure this makes you very happy, Lady Nel. You will be doing a great service to Aquios in your new life as a wife and mother."
"Thank you," Nel managed, before getting up to leave. "I'm going to kill him," she muttered under her breath as she left the hall.
The Advisor blinked several times and looked at the Queen. "She didn't even ask who he was."
The Queen smiled. "She's just shocked. It's better that she find out who her betrothed is when she gets to Peterny anyway."
Nel stomped across the plains, killing every monster in sight. Sure, that porcupine over there hadn't deserved death from above, but Nel was pissed off enough to run up to the lava caves and kick Crosell around until he was pissed off enough to make her a crispy critter. She reached the town covered in enough blood and guts to bring scavengers for miles. Growling, she decided that she wasn't going to clean up before meeting whoever her betrothed was. He was just going to have to take her as she came. Pushing the door of the inn open, she looked around, and spotted him sitting at a table, sipping a cup of tea.
"Dear Apris, no..."
Part Two: Complete With Flashback!
Hello. My name is Nel Zelpher. And I have just been royally screwed over. No pun intended. I'm currently sitting across the table from my most hated enemy, psychotic mortal foe, unexpected brother in arms, only comfort in the strange worlds beyond Ellicor, and now fiancé. All things considered, Albel is taking this a LOT better than I am. He's really calm. It's as if what's happening isn't really happening to him.
"Well, I didn't think you'd be this put off about it," he mused.
"I didn't know it was going to be you."
"You didn't ask, did you? This isn't really something your queen would send you into without knowing who was going to be sitting here."
Nel paused and thought about the horrifying ramifications of her actions. "No."
"It was the first question out of my mouth, fool." He grinned. "Do you want tea or something stronger?"
She sighed. "Tea is fine." When he returned to the table, she put her head down. "What's your game, Nox? Why are you so damn calm?"
Albel's head dropped forward so his eyes were shadowed, but the smile on his face never went away. "I knew from a very young age that my wife would be chosen for me. The circumstances mean nothing to me. I can't say I have any complaints about the choice of bride though."
She looked up at him, eyes narrowed. "You're up to something."
He gasped dramatically and leaned back. "Me? Up to something?" The smile was still plastered on his face.
Nel's voice dripped with venom. "This was your idea wasn't it?"
He put his hands up in surrender. "I'm sorry, but I can't take credit for this. It really was your queen who started the whole thing."
"The Queen of Aquios has asked a favor of me," The King said. "I've agreed to help her as it benefits Airyglyph greatly. It is long passed the time for you to find a wife and produce an heir. Your marriage has been arranged."
Albel, head bowed so that his eyes remained hidden on an otherwise expressionless face, softly asked, "With whom?"
Elena smiled. "Lady Nel Zelpher."
An amused smile tugged at the corner of the Captain's lips. "And when do the preparations begin?"
"As soon as you are ready," the King replied.
"Then I'd like the time to see my mother to tell her the news."
"Granted. When you are ready, you will meet Lady Nel in Peterny."
Albel bowed and left.
The entire court let out a sigh of relief.
"That went better than expected," the King muttered.
Elena laughed. "If it had been anyone other than Nel, we might have had a problem. As it stands, I think everything will be just fine."
He wasn't threatening her so she decided to be a little more civil. "So what have you been doing since we came back?"
"We found the ruins of another city under the aqueducts. I've been exploring them for the past year or so."
"A year? Have you been doing it by yourself?"
"When it was first discovered, the King sent a few of the Black Brigade down to have a look. When the worms didn't come back, I went down."
Nel sipped her tea. "They ran into trouble."
"More than I expected them too." He made a face before taking another sip.
Nel looked down at her cup. "So you've been going down there alone?"
He shrugged. "Cliff stops by and every so often Mirage does too. They call it vacation. I call it hiding from parents who expect too much." His ruby gaze settled on her. "What have you been doing? Elena said you've been forced into taking a vacation several times now."
Nel sighed. "It's just that..." She looked out the window. "A lot of things just seem meaningless since we came back. I've just been doing my job so as not to think about it. I guess I feel..."
She looked up at him and decided he was being a threat... to her sanity. "If you're looking for a fight, Albel, I'll kindly give you one."
"And let myself get covered in the gore you currently call clothing? I don't think so." He grinned, large and smug. "What's wrong with you has nothing to do with the Eternal Sphere, or Fayt and the others, or your job. It has everything to do with your being ready to have children and that's it."
She frowned. "And did you come up with that all by yourself?"
His face fell. "Hardly. That's just Elena talking."
Nel sighed and put her head down on the table. "Great. Just great." She sat back up. "Weddings plans. Let's switch to the wedding plans."
"Certainly. Let's start with meeting the parents."
"Your father is dead, Nox."
"So is yours, Zelpher. But my mother is very much alive and she'd like to meet you."
Nel blinked rapidly several times. "You have a mother."
"Contrary to popular belief I was born of woman and not hatched from an egg." He looked away. "She's been living here in Peterny since my father died."
"Is that where you always disappeared to when Fayt would stop here?"
He nodded. "Be thankful I never dragged any of you fools with me or you'd all be fat and sluggish. She doesn't understand the words: I already ate."
"So how do stay so skinny?"
"In the morning or evening?"
"WHAT DO YOU MEAN YOU'VE SEEN CLIFF AND MIRAGE?! I HAVEN'T SEEN ANYBODY!"