So yeah, I'm a nerd, and this game was really freakin' awesome. But some of those endings just have that AMBIGUITY that just makes me mad inside. And I get these 1000+word urges...

So here you go! To the inner sap in everyone!

Nel Zelpher had a secret (which wasn't really a secret, but calling it a 'tradition' just made her feel old).

Every night, before she went to bed, she snuck into a room on the second floor of her modest home in Peterney. Tip-toeing around the queen-sized bed, she would sit down gently on the edge of the bed and wait for the two lumps huddled under the covers to respond to her presence.

"Mommy!" a young child whispered. Nel would smile and lean closer.

"Yes, Ado? And what will your pleasure be this evening?" she'd whisper back in kind.

"Hmmm… Claire, what do you wanna hear tonight?" Adorei whispered to his younger sister.

The little girl would place her fingers on her cheeks and ponder for moment. Then she surprised Nel and asked, "I wanna hear a story about you and Daddy!" she said excitedly.

"Shhh!" her brother whispered almost as loudly with an elbow. Then Nel watched the ensuing scuffle with more than a little amusement before they finally settled down again.

"Are you sure? You don't want to hear a story about Crosell or Albel the Wicked?" Nel asked curiously. Usually they asked for those stories of her adventures, though tonight proved to be different.

"Yeah, how about… when you and Daddy got together!" Adorei clarified.

Nel sighed. This was gonna be a long night. "Well, this didn't happen until after the end of the Great Restoration…."

Fayt rubbed the back of his head in response to the heavy awkward silence that had descended upon Nel and himself. After Tynave and Farleen had "let slip" that Nel was angry and jealous over him and Claire having a simple conversation over a walk in Arias, he had been left staring at a Nel who had bowed her head, letting her crimson bangs cover her eyes, hands on her hips.

Slowly, Fayt watched as instincts and reflexes honed over a thousand battles informed him that Nel's hands were tightening on her hips, clenching skin and bone in a manner that seemed extremely painful.

"Yes, she keeps her emotions bottled up, but you have to watch out when they finally break out!"

Farleen's words echoed painfully in his mind.

Then he was leaping backward and out of path cut by Nel's curved blades, his sword sliding out of its sheath to block the follow up series of slashes and cuts. However, he stumbled backwards when she reversed her last strike and lunged forward in an attempt to thrust through him. Failing to keep his balance he tucked his head and threw his legs over his torso and rolled backwards, springing to his feet and breathing evenly.

His mind, however, was racing, and his heart was pounding in sudden exhilaration. Why was Nel attacking him? Shouldn't she be directing her wrath towards her lieutenants who had just let fly a secret amongst women?

He informed her of his observation and suggestion, and Nel responded by leaping at him, one svelte knee on a one-way collision course with the bridge of her nose. Only the fact that he watched her fight for a year or so allowed him to roll, this time forward and under her aerial attack. Planting a knee firmly on the ground and pivoting, he brought his sword to bear and smacked the flat of the blade against her trailing knee, pinwheeling the rest of her body. Before she made contact with the ground, Nel flung out her hands and pushed off, turning her fall into a handstand which she helicopter-kicked out of to land facing Fayt in a crouch.

"Fayt! Faaayyyyt!" a voice called out suddenly.

Fayt froze. "Shit."

Nel glared and turned to watch a running Welch… glomp, for lack of a better word, Fayt, trademark hand-stick waving about wildly.

"Everyone at the guild is looking for you! You can't just drop your work and leave when you promised to work today! You have to come baaaack!" she whined as she squeezed harder. Then, with a smile and a wink, she smacked Fayt's leg with her hand and skipped off.

Fayt watched her go, then turned back to Nel, horrified. "Please, I beg of you, it's not what you think! You know her!"

Nel launched herself towards him, yelling hoarsely.

Yelling. In all his time with Nel, that was one thing she had never done. Not when anyone could hear her, as far as Fayt knew. Without hesitating, he dropped his sword and stepped forward suddenly. Reaching out with his left hand, he gripped her right short sword firmly, ignoring the pain that shot through his hand as the edge bit into his flesh and sweeping his left arm to the right. Collecting his feet together, he pulled Nel off-balance and spun her around; before she could react, he pulled her into a hug.

Then, he pulled her feet together again as her short swords clattered to the ground. Wincing at the near miss, he stroked her hair with his good hand, blood seeping into her tunic.

"Why do you have to be so popular?" she mumbled into his embrace. To which Fayt could only sigh.

"That's not entirely true. Albel doesn't like me at all!" he protested. Nel pulled away slightly to look at him.

"Are you really that dense?" she asked bluntly.

Fayt shrugged. "I never really paid much attention to it, to be honest. We all have our fans here and in Peterney and Arias; you know they say the craziest things." He shuddered. "The craziest things…"

Nel laughed a little. "I can see why that would scare you…" her arms tightened around Fayt, though doing so caused her to feel something.

"Fayt, your hand!" She wrenched away from him and grabbed the offending appendage.

"What? Oh," he trailed off, watching the symbols gather around Nel's hands before the swarmed over his scratch and sealed the wound, healing the damage. "Thanks."

"Idiot." She dropped his hand, looking across at the blue-haired youth.

Then, after a moment, she grabbed his collar and yanked him forward, kissing him firmly on the lips, overriding his muffled 'mmph' of surprised. When she pulled away, she could barely keep a belly-laugh down.

Fayt glared at her. "Was that so hard? Did you have to try to kill me first?"

Nel grinned. "Yes. Now don't ever talk to Claire again."

He sighed. "You tell her, then. Maybe you can have a big fight with her too and you can make up on our wedding day," he added as he made to walk into the castle throne room. When he noticed Nel wasn't with him, he stopped and turned. "Nel?"

But she was too far gone, torn between attacking him or hugging him.

Fayt gulped.

The children sat up in bed, stunned. Nel, for her part, had the grace to blush furiously.

Then they burst into laughter. Raucous, tear-inducing suffocating laughter. Laughter so noticeable that Fayt ran into the room fearing the worst until he saw his beloved family in stitches.

"Nel, what the hell did you tell them?" he asked incredulously.

Of course, this only made them laugh harder. Fayt wisely decided to wait until they calmed down before tucking the children in and leading Nel to their own room.

"Sheesh, set a better example for the children," Fayt joked as he and Nel were settling in for the evening. Nel looked sideways at him.

"I told them about the time I confessed to you," she said off-handedly, and Fayt had to suppress a belly-laugh himself.

"Ohhh… that explains it!" he whispered excitedly. Looking at his wife, he gathered her into his arms as they settled down to sleep and kissed the side of her head gently. "But you have to admit, that could have gone better," he added.

Nel grinned into his chest, feeling sleep overtake her. "You'll pay for that…."

But lucky for Fayt, the fiery redhead was already asleep.

So there you have it. See ya laters!~:D