So I've been playing through Tales of Legendia again, and for some reason the idea of Fenimore x Walter randomly became very appealing to me. I thought of writing a fic that described different scenes as they grew up together, but when I began to write it I realized that the childhood scenario could come together well enough on its own to be a cute one-shot. So here it is! My first (and this entire section's first, I think) Walter x Fenimore fic! (Or Waltenimore for the lazy! Oh yeah. That dreadful pairing nickname just made some ears bleed/eyes cry, I know it. XD)

Spoilers: None, really. Although if words like 'Walter', 'Fenimore', 'Ferines', and 'Rite of Feriyen' confuse you, this will probably be a confusing read.

Setting: In Fenimore and Walter's home village, on the mainland. They are both ten years old in this story (which should explain the ways that they act).

Disclaimer: I do not own Tales of Legendia, or anything from it.

Tradition Made Untraditional

"Oh, Mother, can I go yet? I was supposed to meet Walter a whole hour ago!"

The young girl's mother laughed lightly as she continued to run a soft brush through her daughter's lengthy, blonde hair. "You're not even five minutes late, Fenimore," she corrected casually.

Fenimore wanted to turn around in objection, but she couldn't since her head was restricted by her mother's grasp on her hair. "So I am late!" she exclaimed in dismay, "He could've left already!"

Again, the woman chuckled at Fenimore's exaggerations. "I doubt that," she assured while gathering up one half of her daughter's hair and tying it into a ponytail. "Besides, didn't he say that he wanted to show you something?" Fenimore nodded. "Oh, don't move like that. You'll make it take longer." The young Ferines froze on the spot. Her mother tied up the remainder of her hair and then released her grip. "There we are," she announced with a smile, "You can run along now."

"About time!" Fenimore made no effort to conceal her frustration with her mother who had insisted that her hair be done before she left the house. "So I can go now?" Her mother hastily waved her hand, basically shooing the girl away. Fenimore didn't take it as an offensive action; she joyously hurried out of her home and towards the lake. The dirt paths of her village were filled with many more Ferines people than the amount that actually lived in the village, although Fenimore didn't stop to consider why exactly that was. She thought that her mother had mentioned that something special was happening that day, but she hadn't really paid attention; her sister Thyra was always more interested in customs, history and such than Fenimore was. After swerving through the crowds for some time, she finally reached a clearing by the edge of the village's own lake. There were a few people by the water, but not nearly as many as there were in the village; rather ironic that there were not many people of the water by the water. Amongst those by the lake, Fenimore managed to catch sight of a boy around her age with shoulder-length blonde hair whom she recognized. "Walter!" she shouted as she identified him. The boy turned around and she ran towards him, skidding to a stop once she was within a few feet from him, "Sorry I'm five minutes late!"

Walter crossed his arms mockingly while trying to suppress a smile, "I don't know how I'll ever forgive you, Fenimore."

"Ooh, please forgive meee!" she implored, clasping her hands together. Walter turned away in thought, but Fenimore popped up in front of him, "Please?"

"Well... I suppose that I can." Fenimore jumped up slightly, giving a delighted squeal. "Come on, let's sit down," Walter walked away from some of the adults and sat down on the lush grass. Fenimore eagerly joined him. "Do you know what today is?" Walter asked his friend. Fenimore shook her head, figuring that 'today is something special' would not be the correct response. "Jee, Fenimore. You should care more about these things," he scolded light-heartedly, "Anyway. Today is the first day of our season of clear waters, so we hold this festival in our town."

Fenimore tilted her head slightly to the right, her ponytails falling over her shoulder, "Oh, is that why all of those different people are in our village?"

Walter eyes narrowed tiredly, "Uh... Yeah. We celebrate it every year—I can't believe that you don't know it by now." Fenimore giggled innocently, hoping for Walter to allow her ignorance to pass. He did. "Many of our people come from all around the mainland to see how nice our waters look on the first day of this season. A lot of boys propose to their girlfriends on this day, 'cause the water's so beautiful and calm."

"So?" Fenimore pried, contorting her face slightly in confusion.

"Have you ever seen what the Rite of Feriyen looks like?"

"No," she responded, "But what does the Merines' awakening have to do with proposals, anyway?"

Walter sighed, burying his face in his hands, "That's... the Rite of Accession, Fenimore."

"Oh," Fenimore brushed off her blatant error, "Then what's the Rite of Feriyen?"

"It's..." the Ferines boy looked out across the water, and noticed a couple a little ways down who were holding hands staring into the water before them, "Watch those two." He pointed towards the man and woman who had now let go of one another's hands.

Fenimore complied and watched in wonder as the woman dove into the water and began swimming into its depths at great speeds. The man leapt in almost immediately afterwards and began to pursue the woman. Fenimore got to her feet so that she could see into the lake better. The water was so crystal clear that even as the two figures moved further and further down, Fenimore could follow them clearly. From what she could tell, the woman was not allowing the man to catch her very easily; Fenimore wondered why that was, if they loved each other. The man continued to chase her, though, and soon enough he caught up and his arms encircled the woman in an embrace. In that moment, an overwhelming blue light radiated from their bodies, so close together, and spread out through the entire lake with a shine so bright that even people in the village could surely see it. Fenimore gaped in awe. "Wow, that's so pretty!" she practically gasped. Her enthusiasm earned a few good-natured laughs from some adults nearby.

"So you find that ritual interesting, huh?" Walter asked, already knowing perfectly well how his friend would answer.

"Well, yes! Of course!" Fenimore exclaimed cheerfully, "I've never seen anything so... so..." her words faltered as she thought of how to describe what she had just seen. Finding no other suitable word, she blurted out what she had already said, "So pretty! I would love to be in the centre of that light!"

Walter rolled his eyes to himself, "You're going to have to be patient if you want that."

Fenimore pouted, plonking herself down next to Walter, "Why?"

"Because the sea will only glow when it gives a relationship its blessing," Walter explained, "And we're only ten, Fenimore! How can you want to get engaged to anyone?"

The Ferines girl looked directly into her friend's blue eyes, "It just looks nice," was her response. Walter turned away from her, almost feeling ashamed of how carefree she could be at times. "And besides," Fenimore continued as she shifted herself to be in Walter's vision again, "It's not like I'd have to get married right away or anything. Right?"

"Well... no..." Walter exhaled a heavy sigh, knowing that there was no hope for Fenimore to cease rambling on about her desires and fantasies. If you can't beat 'em, join 'em, so everyone says. "And who would this boy be? The one who you would perform the Rite of Feriyen with?"

Fenimore lifted her knee to her chest, reached down to her feet and slipped off one of her shoes. "Oh, there are lots of options," she said proudly as she tried to remove her second shoe, running into some issues. Walter leaned forward and unbuckled the shoe, which the girl had been too impatient to do herself. Once it was unbuckled, Fenimore pulled the shoe off with barely any effort at all. "I could just trick a boy into going swimming with me," she devised her plan aloud, lifting her ankle-length skirt to just above her knees before sinking her feet into the water, "and then I'll catch him off guard!" she finished in a louder tone, flailing her feet excitedly and splashing both herself and Walter.

The boy lifted his arm in front of his body to shield himself from the water. "Cut that out!" he ordered in a childish way. Fenimore simply stuck her tongue out at him. "How will you know that this boy's your soulmate before you go through all that trouble?" he continued questioning.

"I won't," she stated as though it were perfectly obvious, "But they could be, so why not try?" Walter wanted to answer that question, but he could not manage to think of anything other than 'it's a waste of time', which would certainly not deter Fenimore who ultimately had no sense of time. "Hey Walter," she spontaneously addressed him as though they had just encountered each other again.

Walter stared at her incredulously, "Yes...?"

Fenimore grinned deviously. "Wanna go swimming?"

"No! Honestly, Fenimore..."

I don't even know if I'm the only weirdo into this pairing, but... Well, I figured that this might as well be posted! I like how it turned out, anyway, so I thought it'd be something to share. Maybe I'll get around to writing more fics containing this pairing (but my Senel x Chloe fic must come first! That and my Sheelos multi-chap fic... Gah, writing!) I'd appreciate any feedback that you have!