A is for Anarchy
This Is the Fault of: Qieru
Anarchy (ān'ər-kē): absence of any form of political authority.
Government keeps them apart.
He's dissected the situation a million different ways, and he always comes up with this one, simple answer.
It isn't her choice to be a lady of Caelin; it had just happened that way, as he knows all too well. If things had turned out differently, if he hadn't found her in Bulgar…he wonders where she might have ended up. He likes to tell himself that she would be fine, just fine, because the mere thought of her not being fine—even in a nonexistent timeline—makes his chest ache almost as much as it does when he dwells on the fact that she cares about him, and he for her, but neither of them are allowed to say anything.
But he and Sain found her there in Bulgar, they caught up to both Lyndis and Mark. They fought and won against a bunch of two-bit men hoping to earn some money by spilling royal blood, and now, Lyn is Lady Lyndis; she is a noble, a swordfighter, and most importantly, a woman.
He can see her sleeping from where he stands on night watch, ensuring the army's safety. Her back is curved, her legs pulled up, and her features relaxed. It makes him happy to look upon her in such a state, free from the burdens that she has no choice but to bear.
Sain knows how he feels about Lyndis, knows it and both disapproves and encourages him at the same time. His friend means well, but he can't possibly understand. Oftentimes, he asks why Kent hasn't yet approached her, hasn't confessed to loving her for over a year. How can a man possibly be happy merely watching the woman he loves, never saying anything?
No, Sain won't understand, so Kent doesn't try to explain. Words come to the other man so easily, and they flow faster and with more power than a river after a spring rainstorm. But words are just that—words. Words can mean nothing, but they can also mean everything. People are condemned to death by a word, are pardoned by a word.
Words can save and build worlds, but they can also bring them crashing down.
It isn't the right time to say anything.
Sain always sighs and says that it will never be the right time if he keeps waiting.
But he has to wait. As long as their benevolent Lady Lyndis is just that—a lady—he will have to wait to say anything to her. It isn't his place, his right.
At one time, he would have quietly backed down, blindly following orders and not his heart. But things are different. He is different. Every time she smiles at him, it's that much harder for him to keep from speaking those all-powerful words that he knows he needs to say.
Before his brown eyes had chanced to meet her green, he had been the perfect knight—dutiful, loyal, and oh-so blind. But now he can see, and he doesn't dare close his eyes for fear that when he opens them again, she will be gone.
He enjoys being a knight, serving a royal house, barking orders and also following them, but at the same time, he curses his station, his canton, his government, because they keep him away from the woman he loves.
There is a wall between them, constructed by Caelin. It tells him that what he feels is wrong, that his fate is that of a knight, always a knight, living and dying in the name of Lord Hausen and Lady Lyndis. He'll gladly serve, but Hausen will die, and Lyn will return to the plains, eventually; then where will he be? What will he do?
Serve, that damnable wall tells him. Serve. Serve. Serve.
Command Caelin's troops, give orders to lower-ranked men, and follow those from higher-ranked officers. Serve.
Patrol the hallways and sit at a desk, filling out paperwork. Serve.
Serve until you're old and grey. Serve until your life drains from your body. It's the duty of a knight, isn't it? To live and die by the sword and in the name of Caelin! To serve!
Serve until your damn heart gives out.
He's half-tempted to, but, no! He doesn't want to, not anymore. Not if he isn't serving Lyndis. He'll die for her sake, and gladly. He'll defend her name, her life, her honor… until his very last breath.
She's still sleeping, and the steady rise and fall of her chest brings him some semblance of peace. She's alive, well, unharmed, happy, and still so very beautiful. He turns away from her, eyes skimming over the horizon to check for signs of anything unusual. He sees nothing, but he doesn't turn back to her.
The wall won't let him.
He sighs, not angrily, but with determination.
Some day soon, he swears, he will break that wall down. He'll destroy it, and then—only then—will it be the right time for him to kneel before her and say everything he's never had the right to say.
In that moment, when the structure that keeps them apart crumbles, his loyalty, his fealty…will belong to more than Caelin, more than Lord Hausen and Lady Lyndis. It will belong to, above all else, Lyn.
This is the Alphabet Meme. These prompts were all given to me by people over on LiveJournal. So forgive the lameness where you find it (some of these were hard to write!), and enjoy what you can! These will vary in length from just over 100 words to over 1,000. I should update this once a day for 26 days since I have all 26 prompts written. (I also have a second set of 26 'fics to write.) Thank you for reading; feedback is very much appreciated!