Pairing: Elincia x Lucia
Timeline: Post PoR, before RD.
A/N: Short one-shot for this pairing. Posted this on LJ, thought about this site, and said 'Why not?'. Hope you enjoy. And the summary didn't deceive you, right? Haha...

You've Changed

She was more sure of herself now. More independent...more...bold. It was something that Lucia had taken more notice of the days following that devastating war. It was like...the Princess had grown out of her shell, had become more...

More...

She was at a loss for words...

Lucia had noticed it before, while they were still fighting for the liberation of Crimea, but she had just finally realized the change in her. She was so courageous now; of course, she had been that way before too (when she had to live in secrecy) but now. Now was different.

Others might have looked away previously, may have not even bothered giving her another thought, but now she demanded attention. It was nearly impossible to take ones eyes off her.

It was certainly impossible for Lucia to do that. No matter the distance, her eyes would always be locked in place once she saw her wondrous emerald hair. She would be put at ease once she heard her almost ethereal voice, inhaled her intoxicating scent...

"You're awfully quiet today, Lucia. Are you all right?" Elincia questioned, turning herself ever so slightly so she could take a peek at her knight.

Lucia, who had been in some sort of a daze, quickly snapped herself out of it and grinned sheepishly. "Oh, I'm sorry, your highness. I was just thinking..."

"About what?" She pressed, gazing happily at her. "About me?"

...!

See, that was what Lucia had been talking about. She was so confident, there was no doubting; she hadn't even hesitated before saying that. The knight's eyes turned downward and looked off into the clear water. "I guess you could say that."

Elincia, dipping her fingers into the fountain, remained silent. Though, a loving smile started to form on her face.

"You've changed, you know?" Lucia continued, raising her sight from the water so she could look at the other woman. "I'm not saying that it's bad, or anything of that sort. I guess you could say...could say I'm a bit surprised?"

Hm...it wasn't like her to be flustered. Not like Lucia in the least bit. However, Elincia didn't utter a word, keeping her right hand effortlessly moving in the pool of water. She wasn't staring at her either, her eyes were focused elsewhere.

She wanted Lucia to continue.

"You seem stronger now, my prin–no, my Queen. Brave...bold, confident...I didn't just notice now, I've realized it for a while now. You told Commander Ike that you weren't ready to be Crimea's Queen, that you didn't think you would ever be ready. And you appeared to be so overwhelmed with the reconstruction; every time I saw that distressed look on your face, I could have cried."

Just where was she going with this? Lucia simply sighed to herself and shook her head, "Forgive me, I'm just rambling now. I've just been wanting to see this day for so long."

Then there was just silence now, save (of course) for the sound the Royal fountain was making. Lucia placed a hand on her hip and tilted her head back, staring up at the cloudless sky. Her Princess...her Queen had truly reached greater heights; it was a day that she, Geoffrey, and Bastian had all wanted to see.

"Lucia..."

Finally. "Yes, your highness?"

There was ruffling of fabric, and the sound of slippers padding on the walkway reached the blue-haired knight's ears. And only a second had passed before Elincia was in front of her. "Thank you."

Lucia's head dropped, "What for?"

And she merely giggled cheerfully, sprinkling a few drops of water onto the other's face. "For waiting for so long for me to grow-up. I've a long way to go, that much is true, but still I thank you so very much." A small kiss was then placed on her knight's lips. "For never giving up on me, my dear Lucia."

Elincia was never afraid to take the initiative, and that was one of the many things her Lucia adored.

"Of course, my Queen...I would gladly give up my own life before I ever give up on you..."