Final Fantasy belongs to Square. Yep.

A vignette. Been dying to write a Cecil/Rosa for weeks. XD


Quiet Endurance

by Shimegami-chan

w w w . shimegami . com / ichijouji


Before he received his Knighthood, he often sent her flowers, white rosebuds tied with red ribbons, and sometimes other little gifts he had found for her in his travels. She thought it proved he was a romantic at heart, as they were more symbolic than anything, arranged mysteriously in the mornings on the doorstep when she lived at home, or on her study desk in Castle Baron. The other white mages often got more excited than she when one of his presents appeared during the night.

Her mother always criticized the roses. She blamed him personally when the white buds didn't bloom, claiming he didn't know anything about courting such a noble lady. The flowers always opened only slightly but lasted for weeks, tingeing the air of the house with the slightest fragrance. Her mother often reminisced about how Rosa's father sent her flowers during their younger days, but carefully chosen blossoms that were ripe and full - nearing the end of their lives. After all, she told her daughter often, everyone knew that roses looked the most beautiful and smelled the sweetest just before their death. Rosa herself found this more than slightly morbid, given her name, and chose to appreciate Cecil's gifts for what they were. To her mother, the still-budded florae were an incomparable waste.

There were a lot of things about Cecil that Rosa's mother disliked. She alternated between disgust at his "haughty" royal upbringing and criticism of his orphaned state. She claimed him to be gutless and feminine and thought him overly self-righteous. His Knighthood had only added to her disdain, as Rosa became a White Mage to assist him, as she had done for her husband many years before.

"That boy is a troublemaker, Rosa," she warned over and over again. "You're too good for the likes of him." To Cecil's credit, whenever she voiced these thoughts in front of him, he quietly endured. All in all, Rosa reflected, his patience seemed to far outweigh hers – he tended to apologize to his girlfriend before and after such incidents, as though her mother's dislike was his fault.

On the eve before he departed for the Red Wings mission to Mysidia, he attended a mission briefing all day, and so Rosa spent the evening at her mother's house in the village, studying for an important certification test. The castle seemed dark and rather forbidding in the misty rain that had fallen over Baron. She wanted to say goodbye to Cecil and wish him luck, but the squadron would be leaving under cover of darkness, and preparations kept him from her until it was too late. She slept in the same bed she had rested in a child, her body feeling as heavy as the fog outside, listening to the airships rumbling overhead.

In the morning her mother found a bundle on the doorstep and brought it in with a tsk. "Is he still wasting money on these things?"

"I like them," Rosa protested, ever in vain. She hurriedly secured her hair and moved to take the roses from her mother's claws. They were twelve in all of the purest white, tied lovingly with red satin ribbons. They were also finally in full blossom, bursting with vigour and life. She wondered what it meant.

"He's learning. Much better than those silly little buds he used to give you," said Rosa's mother approvingly, as if it was Cecil's fault the roses didn't bloom.