Title: Of Fear and Weakness
Pairing: Greham/Servi (unrequited)
Genre: Legend of Dragoon
Warning: Massive speculation on my part. Takes place pre-game.

These were his favorite times… but also the ones he hated the most.

It was a cool night and a clear sky, stars gleaming above them with a light breeze stirring the campsite. Laughter and celebration could be heard, loud and joyful. It was no different around the fire, Servi's grin broad enough to light the world as usual.

Greham was happy, too, but his reasons were not quite the same. Certainly he was pleased by their victory, especially since they had managed to lose so few. But he was more excited by his current position, just he and Servi at a fire by themselves. It was always better that way, or so Greham had come to recently realize.

He wondered when he had fallen in love with his best friend.

"We got 'em good, eh, Greham?" Servi asked as he plopped down on the log next to Greham, nudging the captain with his shoulder.

Greham smiled, trying to ignore the pleasant tingle in his shoulder. "We?" he joked. "I'm pretty sure that you took most of them out yourself."

It was a truth most sobering. Greham would never be stronger than Servi no matter how hard he tried. He didn't have what it took; no amount of training could give him that inherent power. He didn't resent Servi, had nothing but admiration for him. But he was just a little bit envious.

He feared that part of himself, the one that couldn't accept the differences in their strength. It was a weakness he couldn't ignore. Greham worried that his weakness would lead him to do something he would regret. That ever growing gulf between them, one Servi was oblivious to, Greham couldn't seem to cross.

But by the gods, he wanted to.

Servi burst into laughter, tipping back a jug and drinking heartily out of it with thick gulps. "Ah, you were just as dangerous, my friend. Those bastards fear your spear as much as mine."

If only that were true. Servi lived in a world where he was ignorant of his true strength, probably because he had always had it. He didn't know what it was like to want something he couldn't have. Servi had no weaknesses to fear.

"Perhaps," Greham replied, a masochistic part of himself lifting his eyes to look into Servi's. Most people saw them as blue, but he knew better. They were so much more than that.

The mysterious shifting cerulean of the ocean, and the sparkle of the sun on cresting waves, glimmered against a backdrop of emotion, usually happiness to some degree. They were commanding eyes, borne with purpose, and full of fierce devotion to their king. Somewhere along the way, Greham had fallen in love with those eyes as well.

He admitted that it was probably wrong of him to think of his best friend in such a way. There was a deeply hidden side of himself that wanted nothing more than to kiss Servi, to embrace the other man and run his hands over golden skin. He wanted to taste him, taste that strength, and maybe even borrow a bit of it for his own. It was a constant dream, flickering in the back of his mind. A continuous, impossible dream.

In great strength lay great courage that Greham longed to have. Cowardice tied up his tongue, kept his feelings locked inside until it remained far too late to speak them. His chances had long since passed and he had nothing but friendship to cling to now.

"Ah, perhaps…" Servi agreed with a contented shrug, tilting his head back to look at the stars. "This victory means a chance to finally visit home, ne? I am eager to see them."

Something in Greham's heart twisted and he was forced to hold back a pang of longing. "Aye. I am sure Lavitz has grown. He will make you proud."

He jerked his eyes away from Servi and returned to the fire where it was much safer on his fractured thoughts. How he wished he'd had the strength. He wanted to be equal to his friend, to stand proudly at his side. To have the brave tongue to speak his heart.

"You truly think so?" Servi questioned, nudging him in the side again. "It is a father's wish. I want to see him surpass me, Greham. It would be a wonderful gift."

His lips felt leaden but the words emerged nonetheless. "He is your son." That was all that need be said.

Indeed, Lavitz was Servi's son and would grow to be as strong as his sire, if not stronger. He, too, would surpass Greham. Once again, Greham would be too weak, too stilted by his fear. It was a cycle never-ending, and he was trapped in his own loop of spinelessness, entirely of his making.

"That he is." Servi smiled then, stretching out his arms and easing cramped muscles. He yawned large enough to nearly split his face. "I suppose that is a sign I must rest. We have quite the march ahead of us."

They were returning home on the morrow. Servi to his family and Greham to his lonely barracks. It would be another few weeks before the king sent them out again.

Suddenly, Greham didn't want the night to end just yet.

Servi shifted to rise but Greham grabbed his arm, the word slipping out of his mouth before he could stop it. "No."

Cerulean eyes turned to him in confusion and Servi arched one dark brow in silent inquiry.

"I…" He hesitated as his heart pounded in his chest. He wasn't even sure if he was breathing, mouth unquestionably dry.

Was it wrong of him to want this? He only desired to be with Servi, for their friendship to never end. He just wanted those precious few moments where it was simply the two of them sharing a jug around the crackling fire. He was too cowardly to speak the truth.

Greham's fingers unconsciously tightened around Servi's wrist, able to feel his best friend's steady pulse. As always, his weakness won out.

He lifted the half-full jug in his other hand, shaking it expressively. "Share a few more drinks with me?" he asked, offering Servi his usual smile.

The other man simply grinned, shifting back into his seat. "Of course."

Greham relaxed and released his hold, thought it was with some reluctance. He could still feel Servi beneath his fingertips, warm and alive. "The night is still young, after all."

"And so are we," Servi agreed, clinking their cups together. He quickly downed his drink as Greham watched him, that pang of regret and longing striking anew.

If only he were stronger. If only he had the power to be Servi's equal. If only he weren't such a fool. If only…

Greham drank his liquor and poured them both more of the burning liquid, determined to drain the jug dry. Their fingers bushed but only Greham seemed to notice.

How he hated his weakness… and loved him both the same.