A/N: Uh. Hey there, FE fandom. Long time no see, huh? See, this thing happened, and then there was this other thing, and the badgers appointed me their mythical champion and then I kind of forgot to pick up the eggs on my way home and then there was that whole deal with the Roman Empire and basically that's been things. So, of course I come back with this. I'm really, honestly sorry. My deepest apologies.
Dedicated to weighed and measured, who is clearly my enabler, and who started this all by writing: "...and decided to begrudgingly marry her handsome knight who adores her who she can't bear to ever love because he has good table manners and apparently isn't manly enough for her." There was quite a bit more there, but that's the bit where I got all inspired and stuff.
Disclaimer: I do not own FE. No, like, fer realz.
"It's not you, Geoffrey," Elincia said, turning her face away at his crushed expression. She held her hands together, knuckles white. "It's your table manners."
Geoffrey stared for a moment. "... Come again?" he said, weakly. Elincia pressed her lips together in a thin, grim line. She looked back up at him, her eyes so sorry.
"Geoffrey," she said. "You use a napkin. You hold your pinky out when you drink tea. You know what a shrimp fork is."
He stumbled for words. "Elincia, I-- I can--"
"I just... I can't be with someone like that," she said, her fair face so troubled. Geoffrey felt something deep within his chest clench.
"I can try," he said, piteously. "I swear, Elincia, tonight at supper-- I will use my salad fork on my entree."
She smiled a sad little smile and closed her hands over his. Her touch, which usually warmed him, left him cold. "Oh, Geoffrey," she said. "Of course you could. And you could go on like that, forever, always using your forks incorrectly, never quite tucking your napkin into your collar... but you and I both know that that just wouldn't be you. I want you to be yourself, Geoffrey. And I'm sorry."
"I am too, my queen," he said, all his hopes slipping through his fingers. "Is there really no chance...?"
She shook her head, turning to gaze fondly out the window. "There's someone else," she said, pressing one hand to the glass.
Geoffrey followed her line of sight to find the young Gallian lion prince on the lawn, tearing into what appeared to be a whole cow with his bare hands and gusto. He was not using a napkin.
"I see," he said, unable to keep a bit of terseness out of his voice. Still, she was his queen, first and foremost, and his friend after that. He wished her nothing but fortune. "I hope you will be very happy together," he said, forcing a smile onto his face.
"Thank you, Geoffrey," she said serenely, turning and sweeping down the hall, leaving him alone with his regrets-- memories of her smile, as bright as polished spoons.