Mischief Mage: Hiya people. This is just a random fic that i wrote during the holidays while i was bored stiff. I don't really know how good it is. I wrote it more for my own amusement than anything else. I also felt that the world needed some more FordexVanessa love. Still, review if you want to.


It's not like I'm going to miss. I never miss.

But Vanessa's mantra didn't seem to be damming the waves of light-headedness that were flooding her sight. Her armour felt tight and suffocating and the sweat evaporating around her collar wasn't exactly pleasant.

The javelin in her grip slipped slightly but she regained her hold of it as she braced herself for another wave of nausea. She only needed to last for another minute. Then she could let the white fog in her vision take over.

As Titania swerved to round she raised the javelin a short distance above her shoulder pointing nearly directly below her target's collar bone.

I don't miss.

Vanessa dragged her arm forward with as much might as she could muster. The thin wooden javelin slid from her hand like a fleeing serpent. Hunched over in the saddle and panting, she brought her Pegasus to a halt. She hadn't missed. The applause told her that much.

As soon as she felt that she could lift her head without rolling off Titania, she glanced to her left to see a straw-stuffed dummy nailed to the tree behind it with a perfectly placed javelin. She glanced in the other direction. A small crowd was still clapping politely, some on young Pegasi looking immensely proud of their teacher.

Normally, Vanessa loved Open days; an initiative suggested by Eirika and therefore introduced by Prince Innes after the end of the war. Initially, it was meant to be a chance for parents of newly recruited soldiers to visit and see exactly what their kids were learning and to survery the skill of their captains. But with new recruits coming from surrounding nations as well as Frelia and parents unable to make it on a set day, it had turned into more of a weeklong festival.

Vanessa, who had been promoted to a Captain shortly after the end of the war, was in charge of a small squadron of young Pegasus knights. This was there first Open Day and she refused to miss it. Young Montague's parents had come all the way from Jehanna and Juliet wanted to prove that she had overcome her fear of flying above ten feet. Vanessa wouldn't have missed it for kooky dark magic pain killers in Grado.

But it did seem that she would be losing her breakfast.

She held her head up to flash an apologetic smile to the parents and motioning that she just need to head off in that direction for a moment. She trotted over just behind a clump of trees, hopped off, knelt down and was violently sick.

After about five minutes of emptying her bowels, she took a long, harsh breath; savouring the brief feeling of clarity that the fresh Frelian air gave her. In fact the sudden clarity that her mind experienced was just enough for her to notice a pair of heavy riding boots a short distance from her.

They were tapping disapprovingly.

Ah

'I thought that you agreed to stay home today' the voice of her sister Syrene said.

Vanessa grimaced as her stomach clenched.

'I … was only going to stay… until lunch' she hissed through her teeth in between breaths.

The concerned and frustrated face of Syrene appeared as the Falcoknight knelt down beside her sister.

'Let's just get you home'

With Syrene's help, Vanessa was able to stand up and lurch back to Titiania who was nibbling on a tuft of grass a short distance away. Through the haze of her mind, Vanessa soon realised that she was flying about a foot above the tree tops on her Pegasus's back. Syrene sat behind her, steering.

'How did you know I had come?' Vanessa mumbled.

'I saw you' Syrene told her, 'You know how much the younger ones love watching you in action'

Vanessa groaned. Stupid. Stupid. So stupid.

Then a thought hit her.

'Did Forde see?'

'No. He went home shortly after it started'

Stupid. Stupid. So, so, so STUPID.

Syrene tugged at the reigns slightly, signalling for Titania to descend into a small clearing.

Despite the peace, the Frelian Army was still maintained even if only for use as a police service. Vanessa and Forde were both relatively high ranking members in the army, after their wedding, they were gifted a house a short distance from the castle where they were stationed. It was reasonably sized, comfortable and only a short distance from Syrene's home who, with Kyle, was in a similar situation.

Upon landing gently on the grass, Syrene got off Titania and helped Vanessa to slide off as well. Riding boots scrunching on the grass and then clicking on the cobblestones, the sisters made their way to the front door.

Before Syrene even had a chance to knock, the wooden door was flung open. There before them, looking as menacing as a slightly built man with and ice pack over a slowly darkening eye can, stood Forde.

'Found her' Syrene said matter-of-factly, smiling.

Vanessa mumbled thanks to her sister before staggering past a seething Forde into her house. She heard the door slam moderately loudly. That was a good sign she supposed. When Forde slammed the door loudly, it meant that, aside from them needing a new door, he was getting ready to jump on his horse and cut someone's head off, frothing at the mouth. Meanwhile, if he shut the door silently, it meant that he was deeply hurt. So maybe it wouldn't be all bad.

He turned to stare her in the eye before looking away.

'I just ran a bath,' he grunted, 'you probably need it more than me'

She nodded and, after taking a step, quickly remembered that her limbs, stomach and head seemed to be having a domestic dispute. She staggered and suddenly half-fell, half crouched down. Taking a deep breath she tried to flick a lock of sweaty hair from her face.

Forde sighed before gruffly helping her to her feet and leading her to the bathroom.

The bathtub was filled and steaming. It would have taken several basin fulls of water and at least half an hour to heat the water properly. Vanessa eyed it almost hungrily. She tugged at her boots but found that her fingers felt weak and ineffective. Sighing again, Forde helped her to undress, practically peeling the leather jerkin beneath her armour off her sticky back.

Once he was sure that she was safely in the bathtub, Forde felt at ease to begin scolding her, telling her that he had strictly told her not to leave the house and that she was being irresponsible and childish. It was strange …no one had ever called her childish in her life.

The water was so warm and it seemed to be easing the cramps around her stomach. She felt her mind slipping away. Forde seemed to feel it to.

'Vanessa' he said sharply, 'Vanessa!' he said again, almost shouting.

Vanessa's mind jerked into focus again.

'I hadn't meant for you to find out' she mumbled, eyelids drooping.

'Well I figured that!'

She went on. 'I figured that just a few hours…I would be alright'

Forde kneaded his temples. 'Maybe you would' said in an exasperated voice, like a teacher to a pupil, 'But what about me? I almost went out of my mind with worry! You could have been anywhere! I was just about to go out looking for you when Syrene turned up!'

Vanessa saw him wince as he accidentally touched his purple eye.

'What happened to you anyway?' she asked, 'I thought that you were going to be out for the rest of the day'

'Some kid nailed me in the eye socket with the back of his lance' he said waving the matter away with his hands, 'And Innes told me that it would do you some good to have some company.'

Vanessa saw the scared twitch in his face as he remembered his panic after coming home. But he didn't say anything. Instead he knelt down beside the bathtub, forehead resting on the rim.

'You don't know how worried I was' he whispered.

'I'm sorry' she whispered back putting a hand beside his head, 'I didn't mean to worry you…but…I had to be there…for the kids'

Forde seemed to be grinning.

'I suppose that it was rather childish wasn't it? Sneaking out.' Vanessa conceded.

Her young husband lifted his head and rested his chin on the bathtub.

'Yeah, I thought that I had married someone who was mature so that they could look after me'

Vanessa smirked despite herself.

'If you'd wanted that, you should've stayed home with Franz'

Forde snorted and his face cracked into a smile as he tried to imagine being molly-coddled by his younger brother. He had been prized amongst many of the women as a funny guy so it pleased Vanessa that she could make him laugh. She laid her head against the side of the bathtub.

After a while, she felt his face close.

'You miss work don't you?' he whispered

She nodded.

'And going to work with you and Syrene and Kyle' she said.

Forde tenderly pulled a lock of green hair from her eyes.

'Well,' he said, dipping his hand down into the warm water. He gingerly ran two fingers over her bare stomach and over the very slightest of bulges as a wind would wash a low sand dune.

'Six months and it'll all be over…well…the sickness part anyway'

Vanessa smiled and nodded.