Being Free
By: Manna (Kitten Kisses)

It's your life; you say you need a change.
Don't all the dreams we've seen come true mean anything?
You say it's different now, and you keep staring at the door…
How can you walk away, don't I matter anymore?

Her fingers drew small circles in the fog that had gathered on the windowpanes. She had been sitting there for an uncertain amount of time- even she couldn't tell how long it had been- and though she wasn't doing anything that seemed important, or even interesting to the average person, she was lost to the world that only she could see outside.

Sometimes, she would imagine that it was only a mere pane of glass that separated her from the place where she had been born and raised. The plains where she had learned to ride, and fight, and live. The one place that would forever be home to her. The stone walls that surrounded her only served to dampen her spirits, and they seemed to keep her prisoner, chaining her to a place that she could not love, no matter how hard she tried.

At times, she missed the Castle Caelin, with its smaller, more comforting rooms, and a beautiful view of Sacae if she ventured only a short distance from the castle on horseback. She had not been back for many years, and she did not plan to return to it again if she could help it.

Things were too complicated as it was- with Hector wanting her in Ostia with him, and Eliwood in Pherae mourning the loss of his beloved wife- she did not want to add the Steward of Caelin who harbored feelings for her that she could not reciprocate. He had never said it to her himself, but she had assumed as much, and she certainly didn't want to take a chance in making a decision that she would later regret.

Her hand stopped its movements on the windowpane, and she blinked her tired eyes once, sighing a bit before leaning her head against the cool glass. Her gaze lingered on the plains of Sacae, though she could not see them literally from where she sat. She could never forget the way the tall grasses of Mother Earth swayed under the gentle breeze, or how Father Sky had seemed endless above her as she lay in the sun watching clouds float by slowly.

Time had stopped there, but it still moved on in Ostia- the busy streets full of people headed somewhere, and the shouts and screams of anger or irritation- the biggest city in all of Lycia.

People were always in a hurry to get someplace, or to do something, or to be someone that they just were not. Lyndis hated the city. She hated the noise, and the dirtiness of it all; the sour expressions on people's faces, and the fact that nobody had time to just live.

'Perhaps I am selfish' she thought, her eyes closing of their own accord, 'to want something that is earthly, above that of my family.'

She loved her husband and her daughter dearly, but… she loved her home with all her heart and soul. Would it be worth trading them for tall grasses and endless skies?

She was growing listless in her prison of stone and glass. She could not leave the castle without eyes following her, or walk in the courtyard without someone there to accompany her. Ostia had many spies, and many spies were in Ostia for other countries, as well. She had to watch everything she said, and act in public like a noble woman- not like the simple daughter of a Sacaen tribe.

Not like herself. She could not be herself in the walls that surrounded her, unless it was in the company of her husband and daughter, and she realized, with a start, that it was slowly starting to eat away at her heart. It was making her bitter with Hector, for marrying her and making her stay; annoyed with her daughter, for being another tie that bound her to Ostia, and angry with herself, for not thinking of it sooner.

It made her regret everything. It made her cry when she thought nobody was watching, and it made her yearn for a place that she could scarcely remember anymore.

'I do not want to…die in this place.'

Would she die if she stayed? She wasn't sure, but she felt as if she might. Her heart was torn between Sacae and Ostia, and she was certain that the plains were winning.

"Lyn…are you okay?"

His voice shattered her vision of the browns and greens of her homeland, replacing it with the cold stone window-seat she was sitting on, and the face of her tired husband. "I…" she started to say, but stopped herself. He looked so tired, so worn out from his duties as the Marquess.

'If I do not say it now… I might never be able to say it.'

Her thoughts gave her a little courage, and she looked into his blue eyes, her gaze as steady as she could make it, though her hands trembled.

"I… have to leave."

The words were few, but their impact was great. His eyes did not widen immediately, but his shoulders sagged a bit, and he shook his head, confused. "What about…us?" he finally asked, one hand rubbing absently at the stubble on his chin, before pointing at the band of gold on his left ring finger.

She did not know what to say, and, rather than answer him, she sighed and turned her gaze to the window again, tracing circles in the fog that her breath made on the glass.

He was such a busy man… always running from here to there, doing paperwork, listening to audiences, ordering people around… He did not have times for her silly games, and she did not want to give him another platter of problems to add to his ever-growing list.

"Lyn," he said, his voice haggard, but still deep and strong in the silence that surrounded them both. "If Sacae is what you want, I will not pretend that I can understand."

She nodded slowly, and he saw the dark circles under her dull eyes, and the utterly lifeless being that she had become. She had not smiled in such a long time, that he could scarcely remember what she looked like when she was truly happy. He had not wanted this for her… he'd only wanted her happiness, and he had thought that if they were together, it would keep her happy.

He shook his head and sighed, taking a seat beside her before continuing, "I should have known that riches and fame were not things that would keep you." He put his hand on her shoulder, and she turned to face him, an expression of longing on her face. "I love you, Lyndis. I always will, but… I can see that you'll only waste away here."

He leaned down, pressing his lips against hers for a moment, and she kissed him back- not because she had to, or because she was his wife… but because she truly did love him. It eased his pain to know that she still held him in her heart, and he wrapped her in a hug, pressing his face against her shoulder.

He could smell the autumn air in her hair, though she had been inside for weeks, and he loosened his grip, his breath warm against her ear, "If you feel that you must leave… go. I…will not hold it against you."

When he tried to pull back, she wrapped her arms around him, crushing her face against his chest in a silent Thank You. And the smile on her face, although small, told him that he had done the right thing.

If being free is worth what you leave behind,
And if it's too late for love to change your mind,
Then it's goodbye time…

Author Notes:

Song lyrics and song: "Goodbye Time", Blake Shelton. It's a really great music video, too.

This takes place sometime around 5 years after the end of the game.

While not quite like the song, I think that some people just aren't meant to leave a place that they love. For myself, I don't think I could ever like the inner-city life. I love the country, and the peace and quiet associated with it.

This ended up longer than I had anticipated it to be.

Comments? Criticism? Feedback is very much appreciated. Thank you for reading!