Hey. I have a story posted elsewhere in the Valkyria Chronicles section entitled, "Ordinarily Extraordinary." Please, read that and review. When you're done reading this of course! Anyway, I see people write some stories and drabbles and whatnot about some minor lesser characters from the game, and I've seen plenty of stuff with Marina (One of my favorite characters from Valkyria Chronicles) but not with good 'ol Ted. And I'm sure some of you might be a little dissapointed too. So, I'll try my best to give the people what they want. I'm sorry if some characters might be a little out of character. This isn't the best piece of work, but I tried my best, so enjoy! Also, Peter Rothchild, my OC from my other story makes an appearance.
Everybody was celebrating. The war was pretty much over, though it was a bit bittersweet from the loss of Isara. Luckily, Melville, Ted, and Peter were there to help out and improve the mood, and they at least did a decent job. Everybody in Squad 7 was spending time at the ballroom in Randgriz Castle, where there was dancing, food, and some entertainment, including the trio of "clowns," though Peter actually resents being acknowledged as such. However, after a while, everybody was occupied with each other. The three were pretty much out of something to do. So they pretty much just sat a corner and chat.
"So... what are you guys doing after the war?" Melville asked.
"I don't know. Maybe I'm gonna follow our dream..." Ted replied. "I'm going to be a clown... maybe form our own little traveling comedy show... Who knows. It'll be nice to put smiles on people's faces"
"Sounds good. Definitely count me in, man. How 'bout you, Pete? You wanna join us or something? You're a cool guy. It'd be nice for the three of us friends hangin' out after the war," Melville said, turning his attention to Peter.
"Nah... I'm thinking of settling back down. Maybe move to Bruhl, when they start repopulating it. There's a lot of reconstruction going on. I'll need to help out my home town. Then I'll be back on the Town Watch. Just like old times. And I hear Susie's making a shelter for injured war vets and citizens, so I thought maybe I'd help out too," Peter replied, eying Susie Evans as he mentioned her name.
"Nothing wrong with that," Ted commented. "Your heart's in the right place, man... Wait a minute... Speaking of hearts, you like Susie, don't you?"
"What? No...!" Peter hesitantly replied.
"Ha! You like Susie!" Ted said, in a singsong voice. "You like Susie!" Melville joined in.
It was clearly showing that Peter was blushing a bit. "I don't like her! I just... Well, I've known her for the last nine years when she came to Bruhl and joined the Town Watch. We've been together as friends for a while, and we've been through a hell of a lot more, ever since I got transferred to Squad 7 a while back. I'm like... a brother to her, but isn't it natural that I like her, maybe in the slightest way? Besides... Don't you like Marina, Ted?" Peter shot back.
"I err... I don't like her... I just try hard to make her laugh, is all..." Ted weakly said.
"Seriously though. Why do you try hard to make her laugh? Why can't you give up? She just likes to be left alone."
"Because, everybody needs to laugh every once in a while. And she is the only one I've yet to make laugh. She's been acting tough though, and I kinda lost interst in it though..."
"C'mon, man! Don't get all down on us now! Tell ya what... Why don't you make something for the Squad. I've been thinking about it. It's an album basically, of everyone in Squad 7, with a photo of each person. We'll make a copy for everyone. So we'll all remember each other. Kind of like a yearbook, from back in school," Peter suggested.
"Can't Ellet do that?" Ted asked.
"Well where's the fun in that? Seriously Ted, be adventurous every now and then!" said Melville.
"Okay! I'm going to do it!" Ted proclaimed proudly.
"That's the spirit! Here, take my camera. And this empty photo album. I actually stole these from Ellet, but don't tell no one!" Peter said, as he handed the camera and book over.
"And let's make this interesting..." Melville added. "If you can't get everyone's photo before 9:00 pm tonight, I get to be in charge of your comedy troupe and I name it! If you win, you'll get to be in charge. And everyone's gotta be smiling in the photo!"
Ted looked at a clock on the wall. It was already about 4:00 pm. "It's a deal!" Ted exclaimed as he shook hands with Melville.
"Sucker..." Melville thought.
Ted grabbed the camera took a picture of Melville, Peter, and himself, then ran off excitedly to do this thing, while Melville snickered in his absence.
"Why are you so happy?" Peter asked.
"Because! I said that everbody had to be smiling in the photos! Sooner or later, he's going to have to get Marina's picture, and he'll be screwed!" Melville said happily.
"You are a cruel guy..." Peter merely mumbled as he walked over to talk to Susie.
As Ted asked people for their photos, he was happily surprised to see that many people were happy to contribute to the project, though Ted had forgotten how many people were on the squad. It would take a lot longer than Ted initially thought. After a while, he was collecting the photos, and the more pictures he took, the harder it was for Ted to track down the remaining squad members. He eventually looked through some old files and recovered a roster for Squad 7's recruits. Ted used that as a check list.
"Lets see... Juno, Edy, Vyse, Wavy, Nancy, Yoko, Homer, Dallas... hmm... that just leaves... Oh crap."
As fate would have it, none other than Marina Wulfstan was left on the list. Ted looked at his watch, and saw he only had another hour until the deadline. Ted was frantically filled with panic, realizing that Melville knew what he was doing when made this bet. He knew that Marina never would smile, and that he probably would end up winning this bet.
"Well, well, Melville... you are indeed a clever bastard... But I won't go out without a fight!" Ted thought out loud. He didn't know how the hell he'd make Marina smile, though.
It took Ted long enough, but after about a half hour searching for Marina, he managed to find her in the women's quarters where the female members of Squad 7 currently were staying for the night. Ted walked in, and Marina slowly turned her head.
"You know, you're not supposed to be here..." Marina said, almost as if it were a threat.
"Er... Marina, I'm trying to take a photo of everyone in the squad for an album. You know, so we'll never forget them? So... if you don't mind, can I take a picture of you?" Ted weakly asked.
"Hmph. I not much of a 'picture-person.' And I don't need to remember the squad, and I doubt anyone will want to remember me. Go bother someone else." she said, turning her head away.
"Please, Marina. I'm not trying to make you laugh. I just need you to stay still for a photo."
"Fine. Let's just get this overwith..." she said, not changing her tone of voice or mood in the slightest way.
Ted readied the camera, but then remembered the certain "condition" that Melville made.
"Umm... Marina... don't you want to smile?"
"No. All you said was you needed a picture. Aren't you going to take it?" Marina said, getting annoyed.
"Well, yeah... but don't you smile? Isn't that how you're supposed to look for a photo?"
"This IS how I look for a photo. I'm not much of a photo person. Didn't I already tell you that?"
"Come on. Just smile. Think of happy thoughts. What makes you happy?" Ted asked, seeing that this would be pointless.
"What makes me happy? You getting the hell out, before I call the guards on you for entering the women's quarters."
"Please? For me?" Ted said, running out of options.
"That's not really a convincing arguement. Goodbye, Ted," Marina said, as she started walking away. After that, Ted was on his last nerve.
"Alright. Fine. Be as stubborn as you want! I don't care anymore! I have been trying for a long time to get you to laugh, and you don't even smile?! Screw you then! I don't give a crap anymore!" Ted yelled, even surprising Marina. He started marching out the door. Ted finally just gave up. He no longer cared, and he was finished. Ted could no longer stand for this. She was stubborn, mean, and he wondered why he would bother so much spend time trying to make her laugh all this time, and she wouldn't even give so much as a smile. Screw this heartless-
Ted's thoughts were abrubtly interrupted as he felt himself slip on something on the ground. He let go of the camera as it flew in the air, and Ted could feel the back of his head hit the ground, quite hard. If that wasn't enough, the camera was descending to the ground, and it hit Ted in the face, with a bright flash soon after. He was on his back on the ground, and Ted was temporarily blinded. A blanket of white clouded his vision.
"OW! God damn it!" Ted yelled in pain.
As his vision slowly faded back from white, he could make out the shape of a person, until his eyes focused more, he saw it was Marina. Wait a minute... That couldn't be Marina. Could it? As Ted rubbed his eyes, he could barely see the familiar shape on her lips. She was smiling, maybe even holding a laugh, and Ted just couldn't believe it. Of all the things to make her laugh, Ted never thought of hurting himself. It was more beautiful than any smile he had made on other people's faces. Maybe it was just because after all this time, his work finally paid off. But, as soon as he had seen it, it was gone. You would have had to blink to miss the smile, but luckily, Ted had his eyes wide open.
"Heh. Nice try, but thats not going to work," Marina said, as she held her usual bland look. She turned away, and left the room.
"God, she is such a good faker..." Ted thought. Maybe he had made her laugh in the past. However, Ted couldn't just give himself credit right away. It only feels "earned" if he hears the sound of laughter. "Wait... Damn, I didn't take a picture!" Feeling defeated, Ted sighed. He looked at the camera, and there was a new photo protruding from the bottom. "Wait a minute... Is that...?" He took the photo, and it was of Marina, smiling. "Oh my god..." He stared, truly dumbfounded. He recalled the camera hitting him on the face, and seeing a flash, but fate just seemed to want to give Ted a break. "Hehe... Mission accomplished," Ted thought.
Ted dashed through the halls as fast as he could. Ted had only 10 minutes left, and he had to gather the photos, and fast. He grabbed the empty photo album and rushed, as he put each of into the pages. Until, he was done. With five minutes to go, he rushed back to the ballroom.
"I wonder when he's gonna get here..." Peter thought.
"Ha! He isn't gonna be here! He can't win!" Melville said.
"Dude, you suck. Seriously," Peter said.
"Don't remind me. Hey look! There he is!"
Peter and Melville saw an exasperated Ted run into the room, stumble, and fall flat on his face. Everybody looked at Ted. And laughed. Then went back to what they were doing. Melville looked at the clock hung up in the room, and saw Ted was only one minute from the deadline.
"So... did you get the pictures? All of them?" Melville tried to emphasize his last words, just to make sure.
"Yeah. Take a look see for yourself!" Ted proudly exclaimed, as he laid the book down.
"Hmm... mmhmmm...." Melville carefully looked through each page of photos. He had a list, and noted down every photo he saw. "Okay... Not bad... so far..." Melville was getting pretty confident, until he reached the last page, with Marina's photo on it. "What the... No way! What the hell? Did you... draw this on?" Melville couldn't believe that Ted managed to get Marina to smile. No matter how hard he tried to look and see if the photo was modified at all, but it was 100% genuine.
"So... what do you think?" Ted smiled proudly.
"My god... How did you get Marina to smile?" Melville asked.
"Get me to what?"
Peter, Melville, and Ted all turned heads behind them. Marina was right there, behind them. For some reason, all of them got the same thought that she wanted to kill them for some reason.
"Uhh... I think Susie's calling me..." Peter said as he slipped away. Ted and Melville wished that they were Peter, because Marina never found him that annoying. They, on the other hand, would probably get an ass-kicking.
Marina looked and saw the page with her, smiling. "What the...? How did you get this?" Marina said, threateningly and imposingly.
"It was Ted!" Melville quickly pointed.
"You are coming with me!" Marina said, as she grabbed Ted by the shirt, and dragged him to the next room.
"Oooh! You gonna get it, now!" Melville said.
"You're next!" Marina pointed. Melville felt like he painted target on his head, and quickly ran.
"Oh crap, oh crap, oh crap, please don't kill me!" Ted begged, as Marina held Ted up against a wall.
"Where did you get this?" Marina demanded, as she held up her photo.
"Why is it so bad? Why are you pissed off? You're smiling! That's good!"
Marina stayed silent for a second. Her agression cooled down a bit.
"You know? I don't care anymore." She let him go, and was about to leave.
"Why is it so bad that you smiled?" Ted asked, now actually concerned for her.
"I... I just don't see the point. I have no reason to smile. All there is in the world is violence, hate, and all the things that drag us into war, just like with the Empire. All you can do, is trust yourself."
"Well, the war is over. Just rest easy. Besides, how do you explain this?" Ted asked, waving the photo at her.
"I merely found amusement in you being stupid enough to hurt yourself."
"So? We all do every once in a while! That's why there's people like me! And Melville! Not Peter though, because he's a traitor. Anyway, my point is, it's okay to find some of the funny things in life. You need that to blow off some steam. We all need a bit of comic relief once in a while, right?"
"Yeah... I guess, but all your feeble attempts at making me laugh all end horribly. Mainly because I find you a lot more annoying than you think," Marina said, her mind trailing off.
"You mean like that one time me and Melville put itching powder in the uniforms of the squad? Or when me and him took the Edelweiss on a joyride, and ended up crashing in a ditch?"
"Yes... Exactly as annoying as that can be," Marina said, recalling the events from long ago.
"Or what about the time I... 'spiked' Cezary's coffee..." Ted said, rather slyly.
"You 'spiked' his coffee?" Marina asked, surprised.
"Yeah. If you open the door, and look, you'll see it in about five... four... three..."
Cezary was going to take a sip of his coffee. He noticed a... familiar and unusual scent on his coffee... then again, maybe the coffee just sucks. It all does. He drank it anyway. Then spit it out. And gagged. He ran over to the punch bowl, where he was cleaning his mouth. Everybody pointed. And laughed.
"Yeah, he was a total douche," Ted proclaimed, quite proudly. Suddenly, Marina closed the door, and saw the same shape he saw in the photo grace her lips. And she slightly opened her mouth, and the most beautiful sound in Ted's perspective was heard.
She was laughing.
He had finally made her laugh. It was a bit of a giggle, a tad feminine and definitely a bit out of character for Marina. But was astounded nontheless. He had achieved the impossible.
"You're... laughing..." Ted plainly stated.
"Yeah. I guess I am Ted. God, is this what I sound like when I laugh? No wonder..."
"But Marina, laughter is music to people's ears! Laughter is the best medicine! I think its beautiful."
"Ted... maybe you're right. Maybe you should laugh once in a while. I've been having thoughts of what to do after the war. I was thinking of following my father's footsteps. That path, has no place for the likes of you, or anyone else. But I'll remember you, Ted. You'll always make me smile. Thank you."
Ted couldn't believe that this was the same woman, who was the lone wolf sniper, who never missed a shot, and wouldn't hesitate to kick his ass if he didn't leave her alone.
"That's... good to hear from you, Marina. Maybe you can stop by my comedy show one day. We'll be traveling around Gallia, putting smiles on people's faces."
"Maybe. But, I'd like that. Listen Ted. I was wondering, if we can keep this conversation between us. Just because I laughed, I don't want people to think I'm some sort of sociable girl, or something. This conversation never happened," she said, her smile slowly fading to her normal expression.
"For you? Sure."
Then the unexpected happened again. She walked toward him, and opened her arms toward him. Normally, this would to get him in a headlock and choke him, but this was different. She... hugged him. However, it was very fast, and she let go immediately.
"When I open this door, we're back to our old ways..." Marina said. Ted nodded.
Marina opened the door, and then, in front of everyone, punched Ted in the face. Ted stumbled backwards, and fell on the ground, unsure as to why she did that. Everybody looked at the scene, but went back to what they were doing. Melville was laughing at him.
"Ha! I told you she would give it to you! Ha!" Melville exclaimed.
Marina walked towards Melville. "I told you that YOU were next..."
Ted wondered why she did that, and when he saw Marina grab Melville, he saw her look at him and wink, before proceeding to kick Melville's ass. At that moment, Ted's mind echoed with the words...
"You'll always make me smile."