A/N: Be kind please... My first foray into FF. I love Locke and Celes and it is such a shame there are so few stories about them.

I'll write more, but I need your support, please and thank you!

Disclaimer: I do not own Final Fantasy VI or any of its characters.

That Rose Paved Road

The blues came first. The soothing shades were applied with gusto, turning the canvas into a swirling world of aqua and cerulean. A palette knife came later, piling layers of red on the bottom, so that for a moment it appeared like blood was congealing at the base of the picture.

That felt right. They were living in times of great dissent after all. Blood, rivers of them, was normal occurrence.

Relm was not finished.

She used the same palette knife to criss-cross the thick blob of paint, before adding highlights of pinks and white. Sometimes, she would daub a grey color here and there, tilting her head to see if she got the reflection right.

Before her lay a road with rose petals scattered with abandon so that it created a thick carpet of red and pink and white. The back drop was a clear summer sky. Soon rolling hills appeared, so green even Relm had to touch it to make sure grass had not sprouted from the primed cloth.

It felt right.

But it was obviously wrong.

A river of blood, yes.

A sky filled with images of dead comrades, another yes.

This road of roses, no. Never.

And yet…

She frowned and gave her two models an inconspicuous look.

She already knew what would be painted next. She always did. A structure, ancient and sacred. Already she could see it, visualise the ivy lazily growing from the west side of the building, crawling and covering nearly the west and north side of the structure with delicate little tendrils.

There would be a young man standing inside, and on that rose paved road, there would be a shadow of a young woman.

If she continued with her painting, other figures would appear, dressed in their Sunday best, the women cheering, the men laughing boisterously. Some children, face alight, would poke here and there. Already she could tell it would be a picture filled with laughter and life.

Her small hands gripped the brush, and she bit her lower lip.

Had she really lost it?

Lost her ability to see?

Would she never again be able to capture a moment?

Again, she peeked at the two.

They were not even near each other, both engrossed in their own little world. Not once did they bother to acknowledge each others company.

He had his back to her and was gulping the mead that Sabin had brought from the market place, complaining loudly that it should be rum he was drinking. She on the other hand, was discussing plans with Edgar, carefully scrutinizing the many maps before her.

Even now, so far from the world they had grown up in, they kept to the way of life they had gotten used to.

He was a thief and he craved still for rum and the noisy taverns.

She was a Rune Knight and she lost herself freely to strategizing attacks and defences.

Relm shook her head and gazed forlornly at her unfinished painting. She had wanted to capture the first meeting of the two, though she herself had not been present when it had happened. All she had were bits and pieces, words heard during heated arguments and private moments. It felt like a meeting filled with emotion and she had wanted to chronicle it through her painting. For the first time ever, she had felt like drawing again. She felt motivated by the emotions running between the two.

She 'saw' the distrust in Locke's eye, and the emotionless mask on Celes's lovely face. If she thought hard enough, she could visualize easily the smirk on the young man's lips as he delivered a witty comment regarding anything the former general had commented.

Celes's face would flush in irritation, before something like guilt would come over her features and she would bow her head down.

Then grim satisfaction would find its way on Locke's own countenance, before it would revert to the façade of the maverick, the rogue.

The cell walls, old and musky.

The manacles, heavy and full of rust.

But the rose paved road was before Relm, with its clear blue sky.

Sadly, regretfully, the young artist scraped what she had applied to the canvas.

She still could not paint.

Though she had found her muse, she could not seem to draw that obvious animosity between the two individuals. And she had been so sure she would be able to capture it to, since it was so strong. Map out their anger towards each other with colored pigments and lead. But it was not to be.

As she cleaned the canvas, she heard Locke's unusually loud laughter. She heard too Celes's soft voice becoming even softer as if to allow Locke's mirth a moment of awareness.

And though the canvas was becoming nothing more than another blank slate, Relm could still see the rose paved road and the clear blue sky, the structure with its ivy, the crowd of happy people, the young man waiting impatiently inside…and the shadow of a young woman as she walked on that rose covered path.

'The bride,' thought Relm. 'It makes no sense.'

No sense at all.