Title: An Inheritance of Many Things, Including a
Possible Lack of Judgment (But Not of Taste)
Fandom: Final Fantasy IV
Crit/Feedback: Always welcome!
Notes: For [lj]first_seventhe's [lj]ff_kissbattle prompt, Edge/Rydia: mistake/"That wasn't a mistake". Also maybe a touch of the Rosa and Rydia in there. My first FFIV fic!
Summary: Edge thinks Rydia is more than her inheritance.
An Inheritance of Many Things
Including a Possible Lack of Judgment
(But Not of Taste)
Rydia smiled as she handed the infant carefully into Cecil's arms. Cecil had that slightly blitzed expression she had heard all new fathers wore — she could believe that, she thought, watching the King of Baron's face grow slack and slightly silly. Although, being Cecil he managed to bring to it a kind of holy gravity.
Yes. Gravely blitzed. Her lips quirked.
Rosa had called her down to attend on the birth, for all Rydia's protests that she was no midwife, that she was no healer.
But she came all the same. Rosa's messenger had been quite compelling. How did Edge always know where to find her? Edge had mourned at her — extensively, eyes sparkling above his concealed mouth — about his Royal self being drafted by the expectant Royal couple for this Royal mission. He'd made her laugh. And given her Rosa's letter. And so she came.
When she arrived, protesting still that she had given up her white magics long ago — long ago to her, if not to them — Rosa had had an admonition for her: "Do you think white magic is all there is to healing?" It made Rydia think of Asura, a hint of something vast and holy. And so Rosa became a mother as Rydia, carefully coached by Yang's wife, helped her with the birth.
She wished she could tell Asura about this. She had helped bring a life into the world, after so much death... Asura would understand perfectly.
But here she was, among the humans. They clustered around— well, not around her, around Cecil and Rosa, she was merely incidentally caught in the middle with them. Though she caught Rosa's eye for a moment — Rosa looked tired and drawn, and glowingly happy — and Rosa smiled her little healer's smile, and Rydia was then quite certain her presence in the middle of things was far from incidental.
The formal investiture ceremony was the next day, after Rosa had recovered enough to take her place as Queen, and with her husband the King invest in their son all their power. And everything that came with it.
Rydia hovered at the edges, this time. Yesterday had been all right— had been good, just her friends, a small warm press of bodies simply celebrating life. This was— different. Bigger. Both more and less human. More human in all those ways that made her feel monstrous and wild. And less human, less warm, more dire. She looked at Rosa and it felt like she was seeing two of Asura's faces at once. Or three. Or— a hundred identities. A mother, a queen, a healer. And Cecil beside her, father, king, fighter.
Rydia retreated to the shadows, then to a balcony. Out into the open air. The lake spread out below her, and the sky, and the mountains. She turned unerringly to the north, though she knew she couldn't see where Mist had been from here.
"You get tired of all the Royalness in there?" Edge's voice by her ear nearly made her jump. Her pulse spiked, a quick thud-thud in her ear.
"If I were, you wouldn't be helping much right now, would you?" she retorted, smoothing aside her cat-flinch with the casual banter.
"Oh, but there's no royalty quite like me around here, now is there?"
Rydia vented a most unlady-like snort. "You sure do break up the monotony, Edge. I'm pretty sure none of the others would go creeping around in the shadows like that."
"Ah yes, my mystifying ninja skills. Just part of my unique charm."
"Unique is right." She rolled her eyes and turned back to the mountains. Oddly, she felt a little less lonely.
Even more oddly, Edge settled his arms on the balcony too, a little ways from her, and didn't say anything else for a while. Rydia felt intensely aware of him standing a few feet from her, but he didn't say anything, and the itchy awareness of his presence wasn't really unpleasant. Just. There. Like her summons were there: if she reached out a hand, she could touch them. Touch him.
She settled down into the strangely companionable silence, watching the clouds scudding raggedly over the mountains, wondering if a Sylph's wind might carry her over them.
Edge watched the investiture ceremony, feeling a faint twinge of pity for the poor kid. Okay, more than a twinge. But it came with the territory. Ceodore had Cecil and Rosa for parents, he would turn out fine. Although probably painfully polite. And too serious. He wondered if he could stretch his Kingly duties to teaching a fellow heir about sneaking. And stealing. And pretty girls.
Speaking of pretty girls...
He spotted Rydia as she slipped quietly into the shadows and out the door, onto one of the balconies.
Edge glanced around the room. The social part of the event was starting, dances both of feet and of words. Having discharged his own duty and acknowledged Ceodore as formal heir of the allied kingdom of Baron, King Edge of Eblan was quite free to go.
After pretty girls.
Pretty girls with serious eyes, who were staring out at the mountains and looking quite like they needed some friendly cheering up.
Edge melted into the shadows.
He watched her for a moment after he stepped through the great doors. The wind tugged at her clothes, her hair. She looked— not wild, not quite. A grace of contained power. Something being purely itself, like a lioness in hunt or a bird in flight. Very much Rydia.
He stepped silently to her side, and spoke into her ear. "You get tired of all the Royalness in there?" He winced a little inside— he was never as smooth around her, and she was smart enough to tell the question held more than a hint of seeking her approval.
All the same, Edge grinned at Rydia's reaction. Something delightful about that, like scandalizing a cat. He never tired of it. Even if all it ever earned him was—
"If I were, you wouldn't be helping much right now, would you?"
Heh. Yes. Rydia was never much impressed by it.
He let himself banter with her some more. Her heart didn't seem much in it, but she didn't seem to mind his company. So after a while he just settled down beside her.
Behind them, he could hear the sounds of the party beginning in earnest: music for dancing, the babble of conversation. He thought again about the kid. Wondering.
It was something all children of royalty knew: it is not that they will inherit a kingdom. It is that the kingdom will inherit them. That was the difference, he had decided, between those born to rule and those who took thrones without right, for the power.
Ceodore would be fine. He was born to power.
Edge looked aside, at Rydia.
She was born to power, too.
Rydia was an heir, too, last of her kind, destined to wield so much power that Edge couldn't even understand it.
But there she stood, a pretty girl— a beautiful woman. All of herself. Edge wondered how she managed to just... float above it. To avoid being inherited by her inheritance.
If anyone could be Queen, it would be her. She would not let the role swallow her, make her smaller or less than herself. No, Rydia would only become more.
Would it be a mistake, to step into her shadow and...
Edge scoffed at himself. Rydia always made him feel too aware of himself. Or maybe it was just the King business growing over him. Like moss. Must look to the future, Sire. Musn't upset the nobles, Sire.
To hell with the nobles. Also with Sire.
He stepped closer to her. He knew she noticed, because her slim shoulders tensed. But she didn't move away. "Rydia," he breathed in her ear. Nothing more clever to say, not when he could smell the wild-clean scent of her hair.
But she turned to face him.
He was supposed to say something at this point. Something clever.
He kissed her instead.
Her lips were very soft.
And then he felt her tense, and he had about enough self-preservation instincts left to duck, dodge, and run for the hills. Or the curtains. The curtains worked just as well.
"Edge, you come back here!" Not quite yelling, more of a fierce whisper. He scuttled around the deep shadows of the extravagant window dressing. "I'm not done with you!"
"Is that a threat or a promise?" he sang from behind the drapery.
"Come here and find out!" But he could see her, and she looked, well. Beautiful. A little angry, a little scared, and a lot trying-not-to-laugh. Oh yeah, dad. I want that one.
He smirked silently to himself. That kiss had been no mistake. Well. Maybe a strategic error.
But he watched the woman he knew could crush kingdoms with a thought stalk him around the balcony, near-hissing invective that, to his practiced ear, didn't really sound all that displeased, and he knew.
Kissing Rydia had probably been the farthest thing he could imagine from a mistake. As a bonus, he was pretty sure the seneschal would be scandalized.
A/N: Ahhhh, something nice and short. Short for me. A mere 1,500 words! But um. It's my first FFIV story, and I just wanted to relax a little after certain other writing projects and write something short(er) and simple(r). So, a first stab at Edge/Rydia. JUST FOR YOU, SEV. Seriously my first try at FFIV, and I reaalllly need to get my hands on the DS version and replay the game that way before I feel comfortable venturing much further into this territory.