Well, what do we have here? An update from Space Kase? Wow! Certainly took me long enough to post something...
I've been meaning to do a Freya-centric fic for some time (consequently taking a break from my YANA drabbles, but by all technicalities, I just started those up to get the creative juices flowing. I'm still working on them). She's just so cool and deep and and...and I'm willing to bet I've butchered her character here, I just KNOW I did. . Well, I guess this is my way of breaking the ice, so to speak- I've been wanting to do a FreyaxAmarant fic for some time, but have been terrified of tackling it, for fear of doing it wrong. So, here's my beginner's attempt at it. I think I've failed, but you know- we all have to start SOMEWHERE, right?
This was inspired a LOT by Guardian1's wonderful writings of beauty. If you haven't read Go Not Gently or Thirteen Ways to Say Goodnight, then go read them. Right now.
I might continue this later on, but I'm not sure if I will.
The rain hits the window, like pebbles, hailstones, or impatient knuckles aching to get inside. Though she'd never tell anyone, Freya is quite familiar with that analogy. Normally, she wouldn't think so negatively about the rain that way- the sound of it is a reminder that she's home. Music to her furry, sensitive ears. Perfume to her velvety, sensitive nose.
She sighs, raising a clawed, furred Burmecian hand to her forehead, so as to rub it, soothe that tension away. Unbeknownst to anyone but herself and Sir Fratley, Freya hasn't gotten much sleep for this past week. Perhaps, she reasons, it's made her edgy and delusional. God knows that slight haze at the corners of her vision have gotten worse since then.
She pinches the bridge of skin between her brow and her snout, letting silver hair that has gone uncombed, unwashed, and untrimmed for far too long fall alongside her cheek in a tangled mess. Thoughtfully, slowly, she places the tip of a Garuda feather quill to the opening of her muzzle. Chewing on quills…a habit she's had since her early knighthood-in-training days. If only her poor, deceased teacher could see her now…
Placing the quill down on her desk, her gaze wanders. There is a little difficulty in doing so, because all she has to go by is a dimly-burning candle, but it works just fine. Her blue eyes, softened by the years, fist hover over the blank parchment in front of her then to the stack of parchment in front of the blank ones, covered in several different handwritten words. She's organized them at least five times- the one on top is the one she recognizes first, and will be the easiest to respond to.
Freya dips the quill in black ink, and proceeds to write.
Delighted to hear from you again. You'll have to forgive me if this comes later than expected- Burmecia's Mognet service, unfortunately, has not improved with the city over the past seven years.
Congratulations! Fratley and I were wondering when you and Steiner would have a little one on the way. How long have you been married, now? Three years? Well, the child will be beautiful, I'm sure. Just be sure to keep off the battlefield until the child is born, all right? Take some advice from a fellow knight.
Speaking of which, Fratley and I have finally decided on a date for our own wedding, which I've printed near the top of this parchment. I know Burmecia is a ways off from Alexandria, but we'd be delighted to have you. Her Highness Garnet Til Alexandros, Prince Consort Zidane, and, of course, your husband are all invited. Quina, too, if you can manage to drag him from the kitchen.
I do so hope to see you there. We eagerly await your reply.Lady Freya Crescent, of the Burmecian Dragon Knights
Freya sighs, and pushes the parchment away to let the ink dry before she rolls it up and sends it by faulty Mognet. It'll most likely get to Alexandria later than she'd prefer- the Burmecian rain has gotten heavier since the grand, archaic city was rebuilt.
She places her quill back in her inkwell. What she just wrote has to be the easiest thing she's going to write that night. This unnerves her just the slightest, because it wasn't so easy to write. She's always put up a casual, cordial façade around Beatrix since the destruction of both Burmecia and Cleyra. She holds no feelings of resentment towards the woman, oh, no- on the contrary! Freya actually feels a deep camaraderie with General Beatrix of the Alexandrian Guards. But she still hasn't forgiven Beatrix for what she's done in the past.
Once again, she thinks, this is not out of resentment. Rather, it is of equality. Because Freya has not yet forgiven herself for not being there to protect her home and people. How can she forgive others if she can't forgive herself?
The woman is smart, though. For a second, the lady Dragoon wonders if, quite possibly, Beatrix knows of her inner feelings. She puts that thought to the back of her mind and pulls out another piece of parchment.
I cannot thank you enough for the crew you sent over for the rebuilding of my city. I'll probably be thanking you whenever we meet in the future, every time.
I know word gets around fast, what with having a teenage daughter, but I'd prefer you to hear it from me than anyone else. Fratley and I are to be wed (the date is enclosed at the bottom, just beneath my signature) , and we'd love if you attended. Lady Hilda and little Eiko, of course, are also invited. I do hope to see you then. If Eiko comes, please- tell her to behave. I apologize if what I've said is out of place, but it needs to be said.
Thank you for your time, Regent, and I look forward to your reply.Lady Freya Crescent, of the Burmecian Dragon Knights
She smiles at the vague memory of the young girl, who is no longer a girl, but a young woman. It is mostly Eiko that she means to invite, because though she finds Cid and Hilda pleasant enough to be around, it's the girl-turned-lady that she is truly fond of. She's never been overtly fond of children, but there have been exceptions- Eiko, Prince Puck (she can't bring herself to hate the little brown-furred brat, who has grown into a tall, lanky brown-furred brat)…and Vivi.
The smile disappears from the corners of her muzzle. This now brings her to the third letter she must write. She's never been one to save the hardest for last, so she knows now what she must write.
Her quill stays suspended above the parchment for minutes that tick by as slowly as hours. Presses the point of it down once and leaves it there until it leaves a little blob of ink, dark as the night itself. Lifts if up again, re-inks it, and then slowly scratches the tip into the blank, yellow-stained parchment.
My young friend, how are you? How are Mikoto and the rest of the Genomes? I hear Isis smiled for the first time! When you've gone for your entire life without feeling emotion, that's quite an accomplishment!
I'm terribly sorry about the death of your youngest son. I won't lie- Vitos was my favorite of your children. The grief you must be feeling right now is something I can't even begin to imagine. My deepest, deepest condolences.
I know this isn't the best time to write to you about this, but Fratley and I are getting married in six weeks. Perhaps if you attended, it would help to get your mind off things, to cope, perhaps. Maybe seeing some old, familiar faces will make you feel better. I'm hoping Zidane and Garnet and all the rest will be here. Besides, my fiancée and I would be delighted to have you here. I do hope to see you there, my old comrade, but if you aren't, no one will hold it against you.
A tear slips form her eye, and lands on the F of her signature. It's the only one to do so. She hasn't held a lance properly in her hands in months, and continues to debate whether or not she should consider herself a Dragon Knight. She isn't sure if she is, but she knows she was. A Dragon Knight doesn't cry, she tells herself firmly. It sounds like something Zidane or some other idiot would say, but she sticks to it.
Still...the idea that Vivi may very well be the last Black Mage on Gaia is a depressing one. If it makes her weep, she can barely imagine what he must be going through...
Freya places the parchment atop the others she's filled with her spidery, scrawling handwriting, and considers placing her quill into the inkwell and writing her last letter, but she hears the light tap-click tap-click of foot pads and claws on stone, and replaces the quill in favor of rolling up the now-complete, now-dry letters.
A hand on her shoulder makes her smile. "Sir Fratley. How goes it in the Princely training chambers?" The prince does not have an official tutor for future governing instruction- his initial one died years ago in the attack on Cleyra, and he hasn't declared anyone good enough to be the replacement. During that time, the prince has demanded Sir Fratley, whom he has an unspoken bond with, to do it.
Freya is glad it was Fratley and not herself.
"Trying. Prince Puck is a rambunctious little fellow. I don't doubt he'll grow to be a fine king, but how can we trust our city to him when he can barely pay attention during his lessons?" She feels a rush of warm air on her ear, and sighs. Burmecians do not show the same affectionate gestures that humans do- kisses are physically, anatomically impossible. So, they show their affection in the form of soft breaths and nuzzles.
"I've finished the letters," she says casually, conversationally.
Fratley nods against her hair. "Excellent. I do believe the rain lets up tomorrow, somewhat. You can send them then."
She nods. "I'll do that, then." She smiles. "I'm greatly looking forward to this day, Fratley." He bends down and, gripping her shoulders, nuzzles her cheek from behind. She closes her eyes, and finds that his touch is far too gentle. She almost wishes he'd use more force. Perhaps then, she can pretend that it's wild red hair tickling her shoulders instead of pale blonde. She can pretend that hands as large as dinner plates are clumsily caressing her shoulders, rather than slim, clawed, expert ones.
He murmurs, "I love you," and she opens her eyes. It's time to stop pretending, she tells herself. This is a skilled Dragoon whom she spent time with in their training days, with whom she fell in love with and mourned over when he came back as an amnesiac. Not a wild, rebellious bounty hunter with an ever-changing agenda whom she sparred with on lonely, quiet days (and lonely, quiet nights).
Fratley lets her go. "Will you be down for dinner, milady?" he asks. Freya can swear she hears anxiety in his voice, as though he expects her to say 'no.' The old Fratley shines through the Dragoon façade. She smiles. "I will. Thank you kindly, dearest."
She waits until she hears the door close behind him before she begins, yet again, to write.
Oh, bloody Hell, I don't even know why I'm writing this to you. I don't even know where you live! Well, I doubt this will get delivered, so I might as well bare my soul, so long as I'm the only one who can see it.
I miss you. I miss sparring with you. I miss out nights together in empty Inn rooms. I miss your devil-may-care attitude. Hell, I miss your swearing around the children, just to irk the princess!
It's wrong, I know, writing all this when I'm the one who insisted upon ending what we had. To say I don't treasure it would be an outright lie- I think about it constantly, I'll have you know. Probably a lot more than I should.
However much I love you, though (there, I've written it), I love Fratley, as well. When he said those three little words to me, I…oh…I don't know. He's still an amnesiac, Amarant. He's begun remembering me and the rest of Burmecia, but there's still so much he doesn't remember. Sometimes he looks about as though he doesn't know where he is or whom he's talking to, and my heart just breaks during those times.
I apologize. You didn't need to know all this. I'm ranting now, remember?
Anyway…I'm saying that he needs me more than you do. You'll always be strong, Amarant. You always have been, for as long as I've known you. There's someone else out there for you, I'm sure. (How about that Lani girl I've seen you work with? She's a pretty little thing- your complete opposite. You two were probably meant to be soul mates.)
Fratley and I are getting married. I can't ask you to come, but you don't know what it would mean to me if you did.Freya Crescent, AKA The Rat Who Kicked Your Arse Five-Out-Of-Nine-Times
This letter will not be sent with the others. So, when Freya raises herself up form the chair, rather than rolling the letter up like the others, she tucks it carefully into her maroon dragon hide coat, away from prying eyes. As she walks out of the little room she and Fratley share, she contemplates why. Perhaps it's because of how highly personal the thing is. Moogles are not particularly known for respecting peoples' privacy- the letter and its contents could very well end up in the wrong hands. She doesn't want anyone to know of this…especially not Fratley.
But then, perhaps it's the thought of Amarant actually finding the letter. Perhaps she doesn't want him to.