A/N: This is another request from Warangel88. She wanted a one shot where Noctis and Stella were forced to get married to bring peace to their nations. I did not want to go to the way of her being completely rebellious and resentful with a lot of ranting and raving. I just don't see Stella being that type of person. Sure, she probably wouldn't like it but she's a royal and royals are raised to expect such things. This request was really challenging because it is not a storyline that I would ever write for myself, but I do love a challenge.
It is obviously AU. I tried to follow the Japanese seasons with the flowers and activities. Hope you like it War!
Love Through the Seasons
It had most definitely had not been love at first sight. It had not even been love at second, nor third, nor fourth sight. She could not even really say when it had turned into love at the sight of him at all. It had been perfectly paced and it had been sweet and it had been awe inspiring. When it had dawned on her that she felt an elation the type of which she never felt before, at the mere sight of him, she had, had to catch her breathe. She had not even realized that it was happening and then it had hit her as quickly as a lightning bolt. What resulted was the eye opening thunder of revelation. She was forever transfixed.
The day that she had caught the first glimpse of, what was to be, her husband had been a week before they were to be wed. It had not been hate at first sight by any means. It had been far from that. They had been officially introduced with a throne room full of people that only saw them as merely a means to an end. Their union would finally bring their warring nations peace. A peace that had looked on the verge of never coming to fruition. The last years of fighting had been brutal and immense. The casualties alone had been staggering. It was time to put a stop to the useless slaughter. So, a union of Nihilsomno and Tenebrae was to be formed as she, Princess Stella Nox Fleurent, became betrothed to Prince Noctis Lucis Caelum.
Her first impressions on her future husband had been of hesitation and trepidation. Not any intense fear or loathing. Her feelings had only been intense with regards to helping her people. He was just a stranger. His reputation had not exactly been stellar but she was never one to listen to idle chatter. She preferred to give him the benefit of the doubt. There was no use in approaching a life long relationship with such trivial things. This was a marriage for the betterment of their kingdoms, not for love and fancy. So when her eyes had met his, she did not think that his eyes reminded her of a dark blue sky during the noon hour in autumn. She looked at him like he was going to be her husband and the man that she would help to lead two nations.
Their first meeting sparked the beginnings of a week long celebration that would unite their people in daily festivals of seasonal themes. At the close of their week long party, they would be married and thus begin their monarchy together for a new, fresh start. A start that everyone hoped, would be successful. She hoped as much as they did. She wanted to make her marriage work. It was just hard to figure out whether her betrothed felt the same way. Their introductions had been brief and tense and he had merely bowed courteously and let everyone else talk for him. Though they had not been given ample opportunity to form any lasting first impressions, she was thankful to see that Lord Noctis did not look the clueless prince that everyone had painted him to be. In his eyes, no matter how brief, she had witnessed a focus and intensity that only an intelligent, knowledgeable person would have. It made her feel better.
The first two days of the festivals had been fashioned after summer. Everything had been bright and sunny to represent the hot summer months. The trees were littered with countless bulbs of golden hues and the streets filled with the treats only available within that season. With the sheer amount of people and the help of ingenuously placed heat lamps, it had really felt like summer. Hydrangeas were everywhere with their pale lilac and deep blue shades. Children played along the sidewalks in shorts and sandals and on almost every street, they were playing Suikawari, split the watermelon. The streets were sticky and fragrant with the many treats. The nights closed with a blaze of competing fireworks that had the crowds shouting in applause.
She took that time to get to know her betrothed a bit better. They did not walk hand in hand or kiss around corners but it had been enjoyable to spend time away from the duties and stresses of court life. She quickly learned that he was very quick witted and sarcastic, but not offensive and belittling. He had a wicked sense of humor that had her giggling more often than not when he made certain comments. From those comments, she surmised that she had been correct. He was indeed fully aware of everything around him both politically and socially. Yet he did not talk too much and he seemed to relax in companionable silence. She found she liked him very much.
The third day had signaled the transition from summer to autumn. The streets were kept wet to imitate the typhoon season and red leaves covered everything. It had allowed for the already cool weather to be enjoyed and everyone had donned sweaters and jeans. Winds blew from hidden blowers above to make it seem cooler. The foods had changed with the scenery. Then all the red was replaced with white as the snows of winter were represented with imitation snow laid upon the streets. All the lights had changed to white and the bulbs sparkled upon the bare branches of the trees. During the evenings, snow fell on top of their heads and the children played within it's white fluffiness. Just like it happens in every year, the winter was longer and spring could not come fast enough. So the winter festival was three days, giving Spring only one.
It had been late on the last of those snowy nights that they had been walking alone, along the streets of Nihilsomno together. The crowds had disappeared in anticipation of the new season and their wedding and they were free to walk about the streets unnoticed. Their steps took them to a large park with endless rows of brilliantly lit trees and snowy grass. She had felt like a child all over again and had started to run. To run with no destination and no reason but for the sheer enjoyment of doing so. Her heart had beamed as he joined in running with her and they were both laughing. Laughing for no other reason than to laugh and it had felt so good. She had felt so free.
Soon she had grown mischievous and hidden behind a tree to supposedly catch her breathe when she hurled a snow ball right at his midnight hair. She laughed all anew when she hit her target and his hair was covered in white puffiness. Then blue eyes widened as he came towards her, with forceful intent and they were soon hurtling snowballs at the other. It did not even matter if they actually hit the other, just that they managed to get one through the air. Then he cheated. He teleported just when her latest snowball was about to hit him and appeared right before her to tackled her to the ground. She yelped in mock indignation which turned into more laughter as she ended up spraying him with the white fluff instead, which did not do much good considering it covered her with him. It ended when he pined both her arms beside her head and they both grinned at the other.
Her eyes sparkled and she wrinkled her nose at him as she laughed again and did not fight the pressing of his hands against hers. It took her a moment to realize he was not laughing with her and she froze a little at how serious he looked then. Not exactly serious but thoughtful as he let go of one hand to gently brush away a snowflake that had fallen on her nose. His lips replaced it with a soft kiss. When his eyes had returned to hers she felt her heart begin to pound at the anticipation of his lips on hers. Her eyes were riveted to his lips as they formed into a lazy smile before he withdrew to stand.
A black gloved hand offered to aid her back up and the other pushed her bangs away from her face behind her ear when she stood. Soon both hands were in her hair as red eyes looked down at her blue ones. Those intense eyes of his seemed to search hers and she did not understand what.
"We marry tomorrow," he reminded her and his eyes watched carefully to catch her reaction.
"Yes," she said simply and with no hesitation.
"It does not cause you distress?"
"No," she said with the same emotion as before.
"You do not have to..."
"I want to," she answered resolutely.
"Not for your country?"
"Not for my country," she answered. "Not any longer."
She saw the relief in his eyes as he let out a sigh. He kissed her forehead and brought her into the warmth of his body.
They stayed there, a long time, with no more words as the remaining snow fell from the night skies.
During all these changes of the seasons, she felt like their tentative courtship had lasted longer than the mere week that they had been given. Through the change of the seasons, she felt as if the passage of a real year had gone as her feelings changed from obligation to wonderment to happiness. Happiness in one of the most unexpected of places, her future husband.
So it was not with a heavy heart nor one filled with regret, that she walked down the long aisle within the grand cathedral towards her intended. All around them were endless cherry blossoms that filled the air and filled the aisle. They signaled a new start and a new season. Spring had finally come.
As the evening progressed with singing and dancing and drinks all around, she stole away with her new husband and shared, what was to be the start, of countless kisses and unlimited possibilities.