Title: This Fragrance
Series: Tellius, sort of post 9 pre 10 thing.
Character/Pairing: Boyd/Mist, implied other pairings. (Varying degrees of implied Ike/Soren, Kieran/Oscar, Shinon/Ale/Whores, Rhys/Titania – most to a blink-and-you'll-miss-it degree.)
Rating: PG to PG-13, probably/
Summary: Wherein Boyd finds that the commander's brat of a daughter suddenly grew up gorgeous, and that the rest of the Greil's Mercenaries are horrible at love advice. Boyd/Mist with some very minor implied Ike/Soren, Kieran/Oscar, RhysTitania and Shinon/Ale/Whores.
A/N: Guety bemoaned the lack of Boyd/Mist and I delivered with something? It was supposed to be a drabble, but it kind of kept going and going. It was a blast to write and probably one of my recent favorites. Certain parts of it make me crack up every time. Also for Guety's alphabet request (A, Boyd/Mist, apologizing) and 9 ) from which tree's blossom / it comes, I do not know / this fragrance from the current 52_flavours themeset. That's where the title comes from.

Other possible titles that came up were "Romantic Comedy" (after the Stars song about an aruging couple) or "The Comedy of Errors" (you know, the Shakespeare play about twins–)

1.
Mist had always been this scrawny little brat who played with his kid brother. She was all knees and elbows and often spent her time mocking him at the training range – and she didn't even train. He'd spent time pulling at her pigtails and daring her to take him on in the training field. She'd just laugh at him. But she was always Ike's little sister, Rolf's friend and Greil's daughter. He'd never really looked at her for herself and now that he was looking, he liked what he saw. She'd grown curves in all the right places. She was still contrary, but now he called it being spirited instead of being a brat. Not just that, she smelled fantastic. He couldn't explain it, something flowery that he should've dismissed as being girl stuff but that instead drew him in closer.

Really he felt like an idiot all these years. It was like waking up and realizing there was a huge pot of gold that'd been sitting there all along.

But the realization of this fact didn't really make Boyd any better at talking to her. When he came upon her at the watering hole that morning, he couldn't keep his eyes off of her. She lifted her short skirts even higher to keep them from getting wet, and the glimpse of her thighs only brought thoughts of wondering if they were as soft as they looked, or what they'd look pushed far, far apart...

She hummed as she worked, and he stared on, unable to drag his eyes away from every beautiful curve of her. He stood there for a good three minutes, just absorbing the view until she finished filling the bucket and hoisted it up.

"Oh Good morning, Boyd. Did Ike send you for something?"

"No, I just was out on a walk. Walking. To go training out here. Which requires a walk to get to the training–"

He laughed and inwardly admonished himself for sounding like an idiot. This was Mist, he'd practically known her since she was a child. Just because she'd grown up pretty didn't mean he should completely lose it around her.

All the time he never took his eyes off of her. She plucked up the bucket and frowned. "Why are you staring like that? You're acting like a grew a second head!"

Boyd couldn't very well say because you're gorgeous, so he said the first thing that came to his mind. It was, not surprisingly, a very poor idea.

"You've got a big fat zit on your nose....stupid!"

Had he actually thought it through, he would've realized that this was not the right thing to say but then Boyd rarely thought things through.

"You– You jerk!" Mist said through gritted teeth. She flung the pail at him with surprising strength that would've demolished him on the training field. He ducked enough so that the pail went sailing over his head, but that wasn't enough to miss the deluge.

She stormed off without her bucket and Boyd was left drenched and miserable. He'd been an idiot again and now all he wanted to do was to be kissing her.

2.

The thing was that things didn't improve. He kept saying the first stupid thing that came to mind and she kept flinging things at him, and her aim was getting better. He didn't really want to be mean to her – though she was a mix of beautiful and really scary when angry – he just couldn't quite get out what he was thinking right and it kept coming out as teasing.

Boyd hadn't meant to imply that she looked particularly heavy later that afternoon but that was when he found out that she would both burst into tears and prove that she could wield his own axes pretty damn well for a tiny thing that she was. He'd almost lost an arm that time.

Even Boyd realized he was hopeless in this respect. The only thing to be done was ask for help. He certainly couldn't handle this alone.

3.

He came upon Kieran in the courtyard of the fort they had called home for so long. While Kieran was sure to go back to his beloved Crimean Knights soon enough, he was currently still at his goal of wooing Oscar back to the Crimean Knights with him. Kieran shouted and swung his axe about. His bay mare shook her head and looked as if she thought her rider was an idiot.

"Uh, Kieran. You're a Crimean Knight so you probably know this stuff.. What do you do when there's someone special..." Boyd began.

"Ah, a rival! You must challenge your rival to a fencing match!"

"Uh, it's not a rival–"

"The person who makes your chest burn, who drives you forward and fills your every waking thought and dream, that is a rival!" Kieran said.

"That's nice, but It's a girl–" Boyd said.

"–And the person who breaks every promise by daring to leave the Honorable Crimean Knights and not even leave a goodbye! THAT IS A RIVAL."

"Uh, Kieran?" Boyd said.

Kieran let out a battle cry and swung his axe at nothing. "RIVAL, I KNOW OF YOUR DASTARDLY DEEDS. "I KNOW ABOUT THE BEARS AND THE SQUIRRELS. YOU CANNOT HIDE SUCH THINGS FROM ME!"

"....Kieran?"

"THE SQUIRRELS ARE PLOTTING. I, AS A CRIMEAN KNIGHT CANNOT ALLOW THEIR PLANS OF WORLD DOMINATION TO CONTINUE! THEY HAVE SEDUCED YOU WITH THEIR DARK WAYS, BUT I WILL RESCUE YOU, RIVAL!"

"...I'll just be over here," Boyd said.

4.

"Ike! There you are!"

Ike lowered his sword and turned,

"I've got to ask you something about Mist..."

"What about her?"

"Well, there's this thing–" Boyd began.

Ike waited. Boyd tried to think of a nice way to tell Ike that he wanted to put his tongue in Ike's little sister's mouth. Boyd had a sudden premonition of a horrific death via Aether and being sliced into many pieces – even if Ike was more likely to take him out for ribs in celebration. They were old friends! Well, sort of. Ike was actually closer to Soren. This only brought forth a vision of Ike siccing Soren on him and a horrible death via Elwind and being ripped apart by magic winds.

He gulped. "...Never mind."

5.

Soren placed his last ledger in a precise and perfect pile and left it upon the large wooden desk that took up most of the library-slash-tactics room. He leaned upon that desk and gave Boyd his most irritated glare, which meant it was a day ending with y.

"...let me get this straight, you're asking me for love advice?"

"Well, you're smart. And stuff," Boyd said. He chuckled nervously and tried a winning smile.

Soren was not won over.

Soren gave him the most You are without a doubt the dumbest person living in this world. I cannot believe you just said that. You just broke the set record on sheer stupidity and I may have to stop and record this for surely you have left a mark on the world for being the most idiotic creature to walk Tellius glare Boyd had ever seen. Which was saying something, considering he'd just seen Soren deal with a drunk Gatrie and Shinon.

"I am a tactician and staff officer," Soren said slowly, as if explaining to a very young child who did not quite understand the modern tongue or a brain-dead monkey, "If it does not involve tactics, stocking, or things that pertain to Ike then you should not be talking to me and wasting my time."

"So I have to declare war on her for you to help me?" Boyd said in confusion.

Soren muttered something that Boyd couldn't quite catch. One part sounded like 'ignoramus' (whatever that was) and he could've sworn the last part was like I don't have enough love problems already – but Boyd dismissed it as him hearing it wrong. It couldn't be that, because the only person who Soren ever even gave the time of day to was Ike. Soren never showed any interest in girls at all. In fact he glared daggers at pretty girls like they personally offended him, especially if said pretty girls were talking to Ike.

Maybe Soren was jealous of their hair. Really, what else could it be?

6.

"You guys are popular with the ladies, right?" Boyd said.

"Oh yeah!" Gatrie laughed. "We're really popular! No better advice can come from Good ol' dependable Gatrie!"

"How do you win over a girl?" Boyd said. "I keep trying and she keeps getting angry at me."

"I get her a drink and pay her for the night," Shinon said. He and Gatrie laughed heartily. Boyd didn't quite get it. He didn't think paying her was the way to Mist's heart.

"Well, you start with protecting her every move. Follow her everywhere because bandits can come out of everywhere! Even on trips to the bushes to take a pee. Then you should compose poetry! Women love poetry even if you're not very good at it, it's the thought that counts. Then you should loudly declare your love for them in front of their friends...."

7.

Boyd tried Gatrie's advice as soon as possible. With a legendary lover like Gatrie on his side, how could he fail? It seemed such a good plan. He couldn't write poetry, so he'd just be her protector. There was sure to be some animal to scare her (possibly squirrels) and she would cling to him and realize he had some great muscles from all the training he did. She would suddenly realize that he'd grown up too and then everything would go just right.

And it almost worked, up until he followed Mist to the bath and fount out that Mist had a really good left hook.

8.

Out of the Greil Mercenaries not a one of them had given him the advice he needed. He was still utterly stumped as to a way, and now he'd just made things utterly worse. He drifted in a depressed manner to the kitchen with its wonderful smells. Mist had the day off and Oscar had taken her place, lucky for him, otherwise Boyd might've gotten a knife thrown at him – or a frying pan.

Oscar peeled potatoes. Beside him, Rhys peeled onions. His eyes were red-rimmed and watery and he wiped at them from time to time.

"Put them under cold water," Oscar said, "that'll make them less biting."

Oscar handed Boyd another dishful of potatoes and a knife. "You know the rules. If you're going to be in the kitchen, you've got to help out."

Boyd peeled off the rough brown skin revealing the chalky colored insides with each clip of his knife.

"Can I ask you something, Oscar?" Boyd said.

"Sure. What's troubling you this time?"

"The thing is I like someone – a girl – and every time I try and tell her I sort of accidentally call her fat or ugly and I kind of accidentally came off as a pervert earlier today."

Rhys returned with the bowl of onions. "Is that how you got that injury? I'd heal you but my last staff broke. I'm still waiting for Gatrie to return with the spare I asked him to buy in town. He sure has been gone a long time..."

And in Gatrie's current state, he'd have to wait a lot longer.

"That's all right, I guess I deserve it," Boyd said. "She's really miffed at me this time, I don't know if she'll forgive me with how angry I've made her."

Oscar smiled. "Ah, Mist? About time."

"How about simply apologizing telling her how you feel?"

"What? That won't work at all!"

Rhys placed aside his onions and balanced his chin upon his hand. His eyes were still red and swollen, as if he had been reading a tragic novel deep into the night.

"Women want to be listened to. They want someone real who doesn't put on a facade to impress them. Even if they do like the facade, what happens when they realize that you were merely putting on a show? It wouldn't be the person they fell in love with. Tell her the truth and then give her the choice of falling in love with iyou/I, not your false bravado."

"Huh, I didn't think about that," Boyd said.

"Not surprising, considering," Oscar said. "You never stop to think about anything."

"Hey!" Boyd said. "It's not like I ever need to with you and Soren doing all that thinking. It'd be redundant and stuff!"

Oscar chuckled. "Only you, Boyd. Only you would say that."

"Or Ike," Rhys added, "And possibly Kieran, though his would be peppered with more yelling and mentions of ah, 'Crimean Knights'"

"Obviously Boyd is in great company," Oscar said.

"Ha ha ha, laugh all you want, but I still think things are best solved head on. Speaking of which, I guess I should go find her and apologize before she gets any angrier," Boyd said.

"Probably so," Oscar. "Remember, you have a brain somewhere up there. Please try and use it. Otherwise, Rhys might not even be able to patch you up."

"I'll try! No promises, though," Boyd said, and left.

When Boyd was out of hearing, Oscar looked slyly towards Rhys.

"Since when did you become an expert on women?"

Rhys blushed. "I may be a priest in name but I am not celibate. I... can fall in love too without fear of reprobation."

"Aha. Nice to see she's finally moved on."

"Yes, it is quite nice..." Rhys said.

9.

She was on the training fields swinging her sword with enough fury to cut the strawman in half.
She swung with admirable force, and let out cries of hah, hah, hiiiyaaah with each hit. The practice dummies might as well have had his name on them.

"Um, Mist," he began. "You see..."

Mist had her arms crossed over her soft, pillowy breasts and a frown that almost looked Soren-esque in intensity.

"What do you want, Boyd?"

"I'm here to apologize I guess," Boyd said.

"About time," she said. "Or are you here to tell me what a fat, warty thing I am again? Apparently I'm not too fat and warty to peek at you pervert!"

"No. I'm sorry about that. I was...just being stupid I guess."

"I'll say," she sniffed.

"Give me a break here, I'm trying to apologize!" Boyd said. "And the bath thing, that was a misunderstanding. I was trying to protect you!"

"From what? Lukewarm water? My toes getting pruney?" She said.

"No, from perverts and bandits–" He said.

"Good luck protecting me from you then!"

"Come on! I was trying!" He said, exasperated.

"Well you need to try harder!" She yelled back.

And now they were at an impasse again. She huffed and turned from him, halfway to storming off all over again.

"I don't need this. You're acting like such a jerk and it's ruining this pretty, pretty day that I thought was going to be so good when I started—"

Like the sudden appearance of rain on a cloudless day, she began to sniffle and was well on her way to all out bawling. Mist was mercurial; it didn't take much to set her off to anger or tears and then back again through the seasons of her temperament.

"Hey, hey, don't cry."

He came closer until he was just in front of her, and hugged her in what was perhaps the most awkward embrace in the history of Tellius.

Her response to this comfort was to punch at his chest, and it hurt. She really was stronger than she looked. "Y-you jerk you stupid— Why? Why today of all days did you decide to be nothing but mean to me? You know the Gypsy at town said that today would be a good-luck day and it would change my path of love but you're just being some kind of creepo and–" she began to sniffle again.

"Listen, it's just different now and I don't know how to say that anymore."

"I know it's different...so why are you acting like you're thirteen again?"

"I don't really know how to say it... The thing is I kinda of like you. A lot. I really, really like you and every time I try and say something other stuff pops out instead."

She brightened noticeably. The rain was gone and the sun had shone through again as if the storm had been nothing. "Really? Anything elllse?"

"Well, you're actually very pretty and I was just teasing you? You're not fat or pimply at all."

Mist laughed. "Is that all?"

"I really want to kiss you," he said. "And touch you, and–"

She leaned up and he was assailed with that perfect scent again. What flower was it? He couldn't tell at all but he was captivated. Her lips were soft on his and not hesitant in the least. She really was passionate – and a pretty good kisser to boot. Not that he had all that much experience – and the thought of her getting experience made a tight coil of discontent form inside his chest. What stopped this fantastic floating bliss was the sound of a throat being cleared. When he broke away to see, there was Ike and Soren both frowning at him in unison. It was enough to scare the living daylights out of him.

"Oh, C-commander Ike! Nice day to be out practicing! See, you're sister fainted and I had to give her mouth to mouth–"

"I don't remember mouth-to-mouth resuscitation being administered with tongue...or standing up," Soren said.

"Well, uh–"

"Ike, don't you dare! I'm old enough to kiss Boyd if I want to and you can't stop me!"

"Actually, I was going to say 'congratulations'," Ike said. "What did you think I'd say?"

"Wait, did Soren tell you?" Boyd said.

"I have better things to do than your affairs," Soren sniffed. "Ike and I were walking. To find a quiet place to discuss tactics. The fort we're staying on is filled with madmen, most of them belonging to our own army."

Mist grinned. "Is that a picnic basket?! You guys are on a picnic!, don't try and hide it!"

Soren cleared his throat. "This is Ike we're speaking about. Of course there was a necessity to bring along extra provisions. It's hard enough to get him to pay attention to tactics meetings as it is, and the time is completely wasted if he's hungry."

"Well, yeah. You expect me to listen to tough subjects with my stomach rumbling? That's just not happening."

"Well, we've got enough to feed a small army or Ike for a meal so we should be fine," Soren said drily. "Besides that, we are late."

"M'kay. Coming," Ike said. He nodded to Boyd in a way that Boyd understood to mean take care of her, or I will have to be mad at you. And you won't like that, at all. If you really hurt her again. I will have to send Soren after you and you really won't like that. At All.

"Enjoy your romantic picnic!" Mist called as they turned to go.

When they were finally out of sight, Boyd let out a long sigh of relief.

"Phew...for a minute there I thought I was a goner," Boyd said.

"Don't worry, I would've protected you!" Mist said. She laughed and Boyd found he liked the sound of it.

"Nice to know, but I'll do the protecting on the battlefield."

"Phht, you wish! I'm a Greil's daughter, remember? I'll be using my sword to protect you from all the big bad magic users – Soren included. Even better, I'll use my staff for when you fail to dodge or are an idiot and trip again."

"Or even if you pelt me again?"

Mist pulled out her staff and lifted it to the light, erasing the shiner she'd given Boyd earlier that day. It felt almost as good as the kiss she'd given him. Almost.

"Even if I caused it – though I'm sure you deserved it."

"Yeah, that sounds like a plan," Boyd said. "I can live with that."

And she kissed him again, mouth to mouth and he forgot all their childish games and remembered only her and the softness and heat that flitted through him. And that was all right with him.