Title: What is Needed
A/N: I have very low standards when it comes to titles. Very. Low. Another drabble for the LJ comm.
"You're going to marry Tana?" I asked, seriously wondering why he was going out of his way to tell me this. Especially when it was obvious that he was uncomfortable. I placed my elbows on the desk and entwined my fingers. "You know me well enough, Ephraim--I will not give my sister to you willingly."
His eyes narrowed. Perhaps he was still trying to get used to me calling him 'Ephraim' and not one of my many, condescending pet names. "I do know you well, Innes. Very well…" He added absentmindedly, still next to me with his arms crossed. "But it'd make her happy; you want that, right?"
Pff, like saying that was going to help. He was still an idiot: even after all this time. "I know what makes her happy, Ephraim. Interestingly enough, I also know what makes you happy too. And marrying her wouldn't do that, now would it?"
"Renais needs it, and she wants it--according to Erika. And I don't mind, but my opinion doesn't really matter, now does it?" He asked, tilting his head to the side. "I need an heir. …We both need heirs."
I smirked, "Oh, I don't know if I should be offended by that comment. I think you just inadvertently insulted my sister."
"I didn't mean to." He paused, staring at me with an all too serious look in his narrowed eyes. "Innes, I'm sorry."
"Be quiet. I knew we weren't going to work out from the start." I brought my hand up and rubbed my forehead. This man irritated me to no end, and despite everything… "I knew it from the beginning, and yet I still let myself…I let you…. Regardless, I was a fool and it's my fault."
…I ended up falling for him.
Ephraim took a step forward and, with some hesitation, put a hand on my shoulder. I simply nudged him off me. What an idiot, acting as if we were friends--we were not friends.
"Doesn't matter," I snapped, my eyes burning. "I still don't want you to."
I let out a sigh, "…it'd hurt too much."
Any other time, I would have cursed myself for admitting that. But now, it didn't really matter.
Ephraim seemed a bit stunned at my words; though, within a few moments, his expression was unreadable. "…I already have your father's approval." He muttered, his tone sounding as if he was second guessing himself.
And I just laughed, shaking my head, "Well, then you didn't really need mine, did you?"
"I guess not…"
Ephraim continued to stand there after that, probably expecting me to do something. Anything.
From the corner of my eyes, I noticed the look of concern on his face. But still, I never turned to face him. After an impossibly long time, Ephraim finally whipped around and stepped out of the room, but not before whispering:
When the door closed, I buried my face in my arms, somewhat relieved that he was gone.
I'm such a fool.
And a few days later, Tana screamed an overjoyed: "Yes!", and he stood from his spot on the grass, embracing her. Our guests cheered and their loud applause carried through the royal garden, while my father went to go congratulate them.
Ephraim gave me a look over his shoulder before he turned to bow to my father, mouthing to me that stupid phrase.
Of course, you idiot. I know you do.
But I simply pretended I didn't notice.