Reh...I found this ancient thing. I've had it for a year or two. I really want to replay Sacred Stones. I wish they'd redo FE7 in the same format.

This is a little to mushy for my tastes, and believe it or not, but maybe some one will like it.

It was dark in the tower. Inside was crawling with evil, ugly creatures but Eirika had little fear. Her skill with her sword would more than defend her from them and she was next to the person she cared for most. Seth, the man who had saved her life, the man who had gotten severely injured because of her was beside her and she could take on the world. The darkness and ugliness couldn't compete with the light and beauty in her heart. As long as she had him, she didn't worry about what came next.

Vanessa and Forde were engaged in battle farther down the corridor, the blue haired girl could hear their slicing blades. Behind them, Franz and Amelia encouraged each other by seeing how many monsters they could vanquish before the battle was finished. Now would be the perfect time to show Seth how my fighting skills have improved! Eirika thought.

She turned to him with an accomplished smile, "Seth, do you have a moment? Maybe you could help me practice before the battle heats up again."

Seth turned to her, a more stoic look in his eyes than usual. Eirika felt a sinking feeling in her heart. What was wrong? Why did he look at her that way?

"Princess, before I help you, there is something I need to say," the paladin said.

"Yes, what is it?" Eirika asked, afraid of what might come next. Seth didn't look too eager to continue himself.

"Please forgive my rudeness...Princess, I'm merely your subject," he said. Eirika unconsciously gripped her rapier tighter. Here it comes...

"Recently you have been too close to me. It is not flattering for a young royal such as yourself to be fraternizing with her subjects in this manner."

The princess had half expected this, but she hadn't expected it to sound so...scandalous. Eirika thanked the darkness, for her face flushed a deep shade of red.

"Oh..." Eirika began, "But's just that your wound hasn't healed yet and I was merely..."

The look in Seth's eyes softened a little, "It' is true, the wound I received from the battle at the castle has not yet healed. Perhaps it will afflict me until the end of my life. But it would be a mistake to assume that you owe me a debt because of this wound. This thought should not rest beneath the crown you must soon wear."

Eirika was struggling to keep calm, and not crumple up into a forlorn heap. Her slighter gestures betrayed her, her eyes were threatening to tear. On the outside though, her facade was kept.

"But still, you suffered for me..." the blue haired princess said softly.

"Lady Eirika. You are a noble of Renais," Seth said, in an almost sharp tone, "The nobility should not favor one subject over another. How can they maintain their fealty if you treat one so differently?"

Eirika darted her eyes to the side. She could not bow her head in shame for her conduct. There was nothing for her to be ashamed of, being in love was not shameful, no matter how Seth was making it seem. Still, she understood the truth in his words. The blue haired girl stared him right in the eyes. Her body stood strong, but she could feel her heart breaking slowly. She had been beaten ragged by many a foe, but this was one of the most brutal confrontations she'd ever been in. I can stand this... Eirika thought.

"You may have to forego such attachments just to defend your country," Seth continued, "There will be times when victory in battle demands a sacrifice. If you cannot send your men to die, then you are not fit to rule."

Eirika was almost taken aback by such indications. It was clear what he was trying to say. With each word of rule, duty and death she felt the darkness of the tower press in on the light in her heart. The darkness enfolded her in its hopeless embrace. I cannot be weak now. I have to move on from this. He wants me to...

After a slight pause, Eirika found her voice, "I understand... Seth..."

Her voice sounded almost foreign to her. It was so clear and tangible, when inside was she was anything but.

"You are correct," she continued, "I had forgotten my place, and I had forgotten my duty. Please forgive me."

It was Seth's turn to be silent. Can he tell that I'm breaking inside? Eirika thought. Something dark and sickening was building in the place where her heart should be. The ugliness of the outside world began to pierce through the beauty in her soul. I can't let my soul fall here.

"That night..." Eirika began, "We fled from the soldiers of Grado... You held me tight, keeping me safe from the enemy's blades... Perhaps... I did feel something more for you then."

There she said it, "But... it was improper for a queen of Renais. And with my father dead, I suppose that is my station. I am a queen, and you are a knight in my service. If I do not keep this in mind, then I will never be able to rebuild our kingdom."

The words spilled out mechanically. Obviously she was heading in a fruitless venture. If he really had felt the same way, he wouldn't have tried to push her away like this.

Seth nodded, "I thank you for your understanding, my lady. Now, if you will excuse me..."

Seth rode on ahead. Eirika closed her eyes. The tears were threatening to come, and she refused to let them fall. Heartbreak should not be the downfall of the, the Queen of Renais. She surrendered to the morbid forces surrounding her heart. The darkness pressed in suffocatingly around her and she breathed it in deeply. It would numb her pain for the time being. She opened her eyes and watched him go on, she finding no strength to follow the red haired paladin, like she usually did. All of a sudden he stopped and turned back to her.

"Princess Eirika. If you would allow me to say one more thing..." Seth said. Eirika looked up at him in an almost non-responsive stupor. more...I can't take it all at once...


His eyes never left hers.

"...That night..." Seth began slowly, "I felt what you felt."

Eirika instantly felt the light and beauty flood into her heart, as if resurrected from the brink of death. Her eyes widened with the feeling of rebirth, and her mouth opened slightly in surprise.

"When I held you in my arms as we rode into the night..." he continued, "It was the first time since I was knighted that I forgot my duty. I thought of you not as my queen, but rather as someone I wanted to protect from all harm. I wanted to leave everything behind... To take you far away to someplace where we could be together... Those were my thoughts..."

Such emotion was in his voice when he talked. Seth wasn't necessarily guarded with his emotions, but a display such as this was not something Eirika was used to.

"Seth..." she whispered. There was so much she wanted to say, but it didn't come out. His body visibly stiffened at this.

"Please forgive me. I swear to you that I will never again forget my duty in that way. Now, please excuse me. When I see you next, it will be as a Knight of Renais... And I will lay down my life to protect my queen."

Eirika felt the distance he placed between them. She was so high, and the only thing she wanted was so far away... He didn't want her to get too close to him lest he die and she end up heart broken because of it. In Seth's own way he was protecting her emotionally. He was painfully aware of his own mortality to the point of denying himself the thing he wanted most. Didn't he understand?


He was already going ahead.

I love you.

I actually intended this to be a multichapter fic. We'll see.