Another 'fic for Qieru. Happy Birthday again! ;]
Lyn was lonely.
It wasn't the same kind of loneliness that she had felt on the plains of Sacae, because on the plains she had truly been alone. No, this emptiness that filled her, that made her feel cold and maybe even a little sad, was worse because she was surrounded by people, from servant boys to maids to men and women of the aristocracy.
People wanted her to dress differently, to act differently, to curtsy and dance with men that she didn't know; people wanted her to become something that she was not.
People expected more out of her than she could give.
People thought that she was imperfect.
People thought that she wasn't trying hard enough.
People bowed and then whispered terrible things about her.
People pretended to be nice and then turned their back.
People were just that—people. She stopped putting faces and names together, stopped caring about who Baron Whats-His-Face or Countess Wears-Overpowering-Perfume really was. She just smiled and nodded and curtsied—which she could never do exactly right, apparently—and felt like a liar as she let people feel as if they mattered to her, just as they pretended to let her feel as if she mattered to them.
And then there was Kent.
Kent, who accepted her as she was.
Kent, who didn't judge her by the clothes she liked to wear.
Kent, who thought she acted as noble as any lady ought to act.
Kent, the only man she wanted to dance with at the grand parties hosted by Caelin or Pherae or Ostia or Laus.
Kent, who was not allowed to dance with her in public.
Kent, who was not a nobleman.
Kent, who made her feel loved and wanted, who believed in her, who danced with her out on the hill behind the castle in the rain.
Kent, who could be taken away from her if anyone thought that something was going on between them.
Kent, who loved her more than she loved herself.
Kent, who had been afraid to step out of line by telling her how he felt.
Kent, who could be hurt for loving her, for holding her in his arms, for kissing her and touching her face.
Kent, who risks everything in loving her and who risks everything in telling her; his breath tickles her ear in the darkened corridor outside of her receiving room as he admits the one thing that she has waited so long to hear.
Kent and Lyn love one another.
Kent and Lyn don't care how the other dresses or acts, because he's perfect to her, and she to him.
Lyn isn't lonely.
Kent and Lyn are from two different worlds.
Two worlds are remarkably similar if one bothers to look close enough.
Two worlds become one as he holds her close to him, his lips brushing against hers so lightly that it almost doesn't feel real.
One world consists of Kent and Lyn, a farmer's son and a nomad's daughter, parading around as a knight and an aristocrat.
Their world is all they need, and they find themselves in it every time their eyes meet across a crowded room, every time her hand touches his, or his fingers press against the small of her back.
Their world is one they can get lost in, even in the midst of a grand ball; she nods and smiles at Baron Whats-His-Face's tale of his wife's corset hanging off a flagpole, and she tells Countess Wears-Overpowering-Perfume that her fan is beautiful, but the whole time, she's thinking of Kent.
Kent, whom she loves more than anyone or anything.
Kent, who is going to Sacae with her.
Kent, who loves her enough to give up everything he's ever known for her sake.
Kent and Lyn, who have combined his world and her world to create something that is distinctly theirs.
This was so weird. And I'm not sure I got the tense change quite right, either. Hmm… At any rate, this is another 'fic for my buddy Qieru, even though her birthday was yesterday. I didn't want to spam everyone's inboxes too quickly…