By: Reddo Meijisu
Disclaimer: Final Fantasy IV, its characters and places, are property of Square-Enix. A/N: Still working on my other projects. Originally written for a prompt on the Final Fantasy IV LiveJournal writing community, mountordeals as a one-shot, though it might eventually tie into another project I want to start after I've completed Sins of the Father; a sequel to Cold Blooded Murderer.
Largely inspired by the song, Unfaithful, by Rhianna. Enjoy.
Warning: Heed the summary, with additional spoilers for Final Fantasy IV.
• • •
"Shut up! You need your rest!"
Everyone watches the two, faces inflicted with bewilderment, as the old sage roughly shoves his son-in-law back towards his bed. Cecil reaches out as though to stop him, but Cid rests a hand on his shoulder, and Yang looks solemnly at the cobblestone floor.
The blond-haired bard is the most frightened of all. Edward has been through a lot in the past months, yet he wishes only to continue, to help his friends in need. Honoring his wife's memory is the only way he had made it through this ordeal so far - clinging to her image as a child might a favorite toy is what keeps him going, even if her memory still haunts him to the point of tears.
"But, I -"
Tellah looks at Edward with scorn, now, cutting off whatever words he might bade. Experience chides him, and he knows he is thinking of his daughter, and while his time on the Mountain Ordeals has graced him with the ability to forgive them both, he still keeps reasoning - an ill man would hinder their advances of avenging Anna and rescuing Rosa, after all - and he hates the fact that he dares to argue.
Nettled brown and teary azure struggle in time's infinite corridor, and Tellah, too, thinks of Anna. Memories of her youth come to his mind, and he fights to keep the tears back. Eventually, fire wins over ice, but he continues to stare at him.
Battles ensue between them, fiery Meteo screaming, mangling an unspoken melody, and words put into a silent musing: how can he be so selfish? Did he not know that his pain was his alone, and that he did not want to share?
Finally, Tellah concedes, and he damns the spell coursing through his veins, though he is certainly not done yet; he has come to see past Edward's shady regime as a cowardly bard, and he is certain that one day the Damcyani monarch will rebuild his kingdom, and go on to broaden his potential in this world.
Just as soon as the ugly gashes that have physically left him naked and scarred, bound up in bandages, heal up, that is.
"Anna's death is not yours alone," Tellah says, instantly catching the bard's eye again. His own fall to the harps in Edward's lap, and he allows himself a moment to smile - the first he has done in a long time. "We will advance to Zot, and I promise that I will kill him, for the both of us."
Tellah takes a breath, his heart pounding, though if it is from anticipation, or the qualms of an old man burdened with the curses of unforgivable magic, he will never know. He knows he must say it, however:
"My daughter was fortunate to receive your love."
Something blossoms over the bard: melodies dare to compose, and he looks up at Tellah with a renewed vigor. In that moment, understanding washes the hate back into the sea, and he longs to stand up; to capture Tellah in an embrace that he would have liked to given him had he witnessed his and Anna's private ceremony. He knows that Tellah is not ready for that (he would likely shove him back into the bed, anyway), and merely goes back to staring at him, his scratched face beaming.
"Th - Thank you, Master Tellah."
Tellah nods slowly, and turns back towards the waiting faces of the other men. There is nothing else for him to say, despite an opportunity to stitch up a hole in the tapestry of bitterness. He would love to embrace Edward as well, had he been truly Anna, and not just a longing to see her again.
"We'll see each other again someday, I'm sure of it."
He begins to walk out, away from the other occupants, and further to the door of his own demise. Acquiring the knowledge to cast Meteo has weakened him conservatively, but other discoveries are beginning to eat away at his soul.
Maybe he will die; it would serve him right. Justice is to be served on another life he is about to take, yes; but retribution will taint him with the seduction of an attempted murder, for certain.