AN: If you don't like the couple, if you think it's wrong, then this is not the story for you to read. Please don't flame this story. Thank you.
Slight spoiler warning; it's nothing really important.
Disclaimer: I own nothing except my brain, which came up with this story. Any resemblance to someone else's story is completely unintentional and the whole of the Tales series belong to Namco or whoever else owns them.
The room was pitch black when Judith entered the room, but that was to be expected given the time of night. Not a single light was on in Capua Nor, she noticed, as she walked back to the Inn they were staying at. There was a dim candle on the desk of the Inn clerk, enough for her to see the clerk but not for the clerk to notice her. Silently, so as not to disturb him, Judith slipped by to the door to the room she shared with the two other girls in the party. She whispered a thanks when the rusted hinges didn't creak while she opened the door just wide enough so she could enter. With her eyes accustomed to the dark already, the Krytian could see that the both girls she shared the room with were still fast asleep. Rita was sprawled on her back in the middle bed, the covers twisted all around her, a very soft snore emanating from her. Estelle on the other hand was sleeping soundly, curled up on her side on the bed to Rita's right. The blue-haired woman smiled at the two, admitting that both of them were quite cute. Quietly, she crossed the room climbed into her own bed, hoping to fall asleep.
She was drifting softly on the edge of the dream world when she heard Rita stirring. Judith shrugged it off, knowing full well that Rita talked in her sleep, that it was nothing new. But when the brunette smacked the mattress, quite violently, Judith sat up and looked over, her curiosity piqued. With her vision still accustomed to the darkness, she could quite easily see the younger girl's face contorted with different emotions, her body reacting accordingly. Anger saw Rita thrash and hit the bed, and when the anger receded, so did her spasms. She sporadically brought her hands up, as if warding off a blow, and she was constantly turning her head from side to side, almost as if she were looking behind her.
Judith was just rising out of bed, about to wake the poor girl, when Rita breathed the Princess's name. With that, she seemed to calm down quite a bit, her shoulders becoming less tense and her face relaxing. A calm, almost loving emotion took over the mage's face as she turned her head away from Judith towards the Princess. Judith smiled to herself as she sat on the bed, noting that it wasn't the first time she had seen that look. She seemed to be the only one to catch on that the young mage was more than just fond of Estelle, much more. Though it could be argued that Estelle was Rita's very first friend and that she was just being clingy, Judith would disagree. Whether Rita even realized it or not Judith didn't know, but she could tell that the short brunette was feeling more than just a sisterly love.
"It's okay..." the mage continued, her groggy voice easily reaching Judith's ears. " I... I'm going... to..."
Suddenly Rita froze.
"Rita?" Judith spoke without even realizing it, the shock in Rita's voice a startling change from the reassuring-like words just a few short seconds ago. Rising from her bed, she silently walked towards Rita just as she started moaning the word over and over again, each time filling it with more sorrow.
"No! Estelle!" Rita said louder. Now she repeatedly moaned the Princess's name, her voice cracking with pain that sounded very real, almost as if a precious piece of the young mage had been ripped out. Judith's redish eyes widened as tears started streaming down the sleeping girl's cheeks, her body convulsing with sobs as she clutched something to her chest, her arms, at the same time, cradling the void.
"Rita? Rita it's okay..." the Krytian crooned to her, trying to wake the mage from her apparent nightmare as gently as she could, stroking her hair and slightly nudging her arm. In the other bed, Estelle shifted position, but didn't look over.
Through her sobs, Rita began mumbling something in a tone of anger Judith hand never heard before, and as she continued, she became clearer.
"... rain down... and... purify-"
The alarm in Judith's raised voice was enough to wake Estelle. Groggily, the pink Princess propped herself up on her elbow and rubbed her eyes. As her eyes adjusted to the dark, she could see Judith shaking Rita, her hand clamped over the now thrashing mage's mouth, calling out to her again and again. Judith's urgent tone brought Estelle's mind out of the recesses of sleep, her own anxiety starting to surface.
"Judith? What are you doing?"
The dark haired woman spared only a glance up at the alarmed Princess before returning her attention to Rita. "Rita! Wake up! It's only a dream! It's okay!" Judith's tone was less urgent than before, trying to revert back to the gentle crooning she had been doing before. But this seemed to aggravate the poor girl even more, more than once reaching out to strike at whatever she thought was trying to prevent her from casting the spell. "It's the worst way to wake someone up, I know," Judith spoke to Estelle, who was now standing on the other side of Rita's bed, hands clenched in worry, "But there was no way I was letting her cast that.... Shhhh Rita..."
No matter what Judith seemed to do, no matter how gentle, Rita only seemed to get worse. The way her friend thrashed in desperation made Estelle wonder what could be causing such a nightmare. It didn't take her long before she had had enough of seeing her friend suffer.
"Rita! Wake up!" she cried.
In one muffled yell she jolted out of her nightmare, eyes wide open and darting around the room. Not quite sure what was going on, she still struggled, but not as hard as before, confused on whether this was still a dream or not. She began to make out two figures standing over her, but who they were was still a mystery to her. She blinked again and again trying to clear the tears from her eyes, but with the emotions from her dream still rubbing her raw, she could only make out their outlines against the blackness of the room. Her breath came in ragged gasps through the hand clamped on her mouth, her body's response to so much adrenaline pumping through her system.
"Rita?" Estelle's voice came softly to Rita's ears, tentative. When Rita turned her head slightly to focus on her, her body now still, Estelle smiled. "Rita, it's okay. You were dreaming." With a nod from the Princess, Judith removed her hand from Rita's mouth and returned to simply standing at the bedside.
Both females could see Rita's eyes widen in shock as she finally recognized the voice. She bolted upright, swiping at her face in an effort to clear her vision. Managing to better it somewhat, she looked up to see none other than the Princess's face framed by her trademark pink hair.
That one word was filled with so much relief that it stunned Estelle for a few seconds. The next thing she knew, the younger girl had her arms wrapped around her slim waist, squeezing her as if trying to confirm she was real. When she looked down, she saw a brown mop of hair pushing against her just below her chest... and it was sobbing.
"I don't think I've ever seen you cry Rita..." Estelle whispered to herself. At first, it was clear that the Princess was slightly taken aback by the sight of her usually strong friend in this state, but before long Judith could see a soft, sympathetic smile gracing her features as she moved to hold Rita's shaking shoulders with one arm, the other one slowly stroking her brown hair in an effort of comfort. They stayed like that until the mage calmed down somewhat. At that point, Estelle slowly pushed Rita away just enough so that she could sit on the bed with her. She could see that the young mage still looked rather confused as to what was going on, not quite believing that she was out of the dream; she could tell by how Rita still tried to cling to her, as if she was afraid that if she let go of the Princess, she would disappear.
A thought occurred to Estelle then. She found it odd at first, but when she took in Rita's shaken state, she posed the question, albeit rather awkwardly. "Rita..." The mage's eyes clung to her voice, the sight being so pitiful Estelle knew she couldn't go back now. "Would you... like me... to...?" She didn't have to finish to achieve the mage's understanding. She saw Rita look down and away, a tell-tale sign that she was blushing, before nodding sheepishly. She could barely hear the 'please' that came out of Rita's mouth, her voice still not stable enough to use without breaking.
Smiling at Rita's apparent awkwardness, Estelle reached over, her hands just barely grabbing the pillow as she attempted to stay seated on Rita's bed. As she placed the pillow, she spared a glance up at Judith, who she found to be smiling down at them.
"You'll feel better in the morning Rita."
Judith's calm voice made Rita jump, she having only remembered now that there had been another form besides Estelle standing over her. When she turned to look at the Krytian, she only found a form lying down under the covers on the other bed. Her brain was already muddled enough; she didn't care at that moment that someone else had been watching her cling to Estelle. Slowly, the young mage lay back on the bed and stared up at the ceiling. In a few short minutes, sleep caught her in its wave again, her head unconsciously tilting in Estelle's direction as her neck muscles relaxed. The Princess smiled at Rita, relieved that her friend's ordeal was over, and was too swept into the land of dreams.
From her own bed, Judith watched them. She knew that Rita might wake up with quite the fright tomorrow morning, especially if she didn't remember anything that happened last night. After contemplating for a very short time whether she should move Estelle back to her own bed just in case, she decided against it. 'Poor Estelle still has no idea...' She sighed softly, her pity for the mage letting itself known. She guessed that Rita's conflicting emotions might have caused the nightmare. After all, she didn't have any one to talk to about this, though Judith had started hinting that she could be that ear that would listen. Maybe she should confront Rita sometime?
Shrugging, Judith turned over under her covers, deciding to sleep on it.
AN: Not quite sure where I'm going with this, as it just randomly came to me. The POV changes a lot between the three characters I know xD but that's how it came out. I can edit it so that it could stand on it's own... but I'm going to try to write a second chapter... maybe...
Anyway please review! I love hearing constructive critisism and whatnot, just no flaming! O