Title: In Our Bedroom After The War
Summary: The long war is over.
A/N: gauntlet challenge, 5) As it is with ghosts. / shoujoai100 02: endings. International Day Of Femmeslash. Woo. The title comes from a Stars album.
Spoilers and a first playthrough type. Also, present tense.
Also an early Birthday present for Mini – at least until I can get to the F/SN thing I promised her aaaages ago.
They hang around, still, their remains echoing in the halls long after their useless traitor's bones were buried under the hard-packed dirt. Tanith hopes they suffer, wherever hell they've gone to. Elysium can't be a place for traitors, if there is an afterworld at all.
Still, the cold lingers. She stares longer at help and nobles alike. She wonders, who will be next?
It is not merely her as well. Tonight, like many nights, Sigrun creeps from her own room to steal into the Empress Sanaki's rooms. She knows how to take out her steed and fly by without others knowing. She knows how to check to ensure that there isn't a viper bedded down by her liege.
Surely more than once she's stepped into the open balcony and made sure Empress Sanaki's covers have not slipped, that there was no poison concealed.
Sigrun has a light step, otherwise Empress Sanaki would wake and scold her mercilessly.
But it isn't only Sanaki's room which she can slip into, her feet making no more sound than a ghost's. Sigrun's Pegasus is extraordinarily well trained. All she has to do is say the word and it will fly back to the stables without any other guidance.
Sigrun pads in so soft as if it were a pair of her own downy wings that has lead her here. Wings that fade into dust and cold, fog and moonlight. Her hair is unbound, loose about her shoulders.
Tanith lifts the covers. "Come in," she says.
They have done this ever since their training days. Sigrun slips under the covers and her hair falls like an aquamarine sea flow over the pillow. Tanith does not bother with the vanity of other nobles. Her choice of bed is small and plain, so much so that Sigrun has to entwine her legs with Tanith's to prevent from falling off. The heat of Sigrun's skin is a strange juxtaposition from the endless cold nights. It is like touching the waxy stem of a burnt candle; she wonders if she will be burnt. Still, she draws Sigrun a little closer.
"I never suspected him," Sigrun whispers, "I looked at him and I thought he had the best intentions in mind for Empress Sanaki."
There is always people who ruin the balance. The traitors who take that trust and use it to disillusion and shatter all the order about them.
"I didn't see it either. I should've suspected that lying snake all along.. Keeping General Zelgius as his dog for his plans....I'll never forgive him."
Sigrun's hands seek her own. It is not passion, but comfort she seeks. Tanith strokes the back of her captain's hand, and then her ocean colored hair. The ghosts linger around them. Sephiran's footstep can still be heard about the palace, and in the emptiness near Empress Sanaki's throne. She has not appointed a new advisor. Perhaps she never will.
"All we can do is protect her. There is nothing else," Sigrun says, her voice soft and with a hopeless tinge which does not suit her. She is the one always so proud to keep Empress Sanaki safe, as if the Empress were her own flesh and blood child. This kind of defeatism shouldn't grace Sigrun's lips.
"We will," Tanith says, her voice sharp and verging on being too loud. "Even if it takes our lives."
"Even if it takes our lives..." Sigrun echoes.
The war is over. But surely more will come, because that is the way of life. Peace is an expensive commodity, one that must be bought with the price of blood, and slaughtered life. It is such a harsh sacrifice. And to think, she and Sigrun almost hadn't made it before the battle with Ashera.
Sigrun had been shot down, and before Tanith could even cry out, she too felt the sting of the arrows flying through the air. There, both of them had almost fallen. It was only sheer dumb luck that the arrows had only injured and not killed them. It was sheer chance that they lived to fight and protect their Empress another day.
Sigrun lays her head upon Tanith's breast. They both repeat the vow, an unspoken and in tandem. They will protect their Empress until the end. They will protect each other and this fragile bond between them.
In the cold the ghosts linger. They can only hope their Pegasus' wings are enough to beat them back.