The Microfic/Drabble Meme
For: Forced Simile
Prompt: "It was all he could do for now."
Flower: White Lilacs
At the end of the hallway outside his personal rooms was a fainting couch, the perfect place to allow a person a moment's rest after climbing one winding flight of stairs too many. Eliwood sighed as he managed to make it to the landing, and he immediately started for that couch. The Nabata Desert couldn't have been any more exhausting, he thought, though perhaps the sudden shift in location, from the overbearing heat to the mild temperatures of Pherae, had something to do with it, too.
Everyone desperately needed some rest, and rest they would all have. A single night in Pherae before they packed their things up, restocked, and headed out again.
As he neared the floral-patterned couch, fully intending to sit down for a minute or two, he noticed a figure curled up on one side of it. Upon closer inspection, he found it to be none other than Florina, Lyndis's closest friend. The young woman had one of the couch's pillows pressed against her chest; her cheek rested against the arm of the couch, and her legs were tucked up beneath her.
It wasn't an especially comfortable position to nap in, he thought.
It was strange to see her out of battle, and he didn't really think that he'd ever been given the chance. She usually hid with those from Caelin, seemingly having little desire to meet new people, and when she wasn't on her pegasus's back, she was in company of those she trusted most.
The way her hair spilled over her shoulder made her look terribly young, but Eliwood had to remind himself that he wasn't much older, not really. They were all children, in a sense, children that didn't have any business fighting a war. His chest ached to see her looking so peaceful, more so than he had seen any of the others.
This night would be the only one where they could feel that kind of freedom, he told himself, and his hand reached out to brush her hair behind her shoulder. When she stirred at the cooler air against her neck, he pulled his hand back and watched as she pressed her face into the soft pillow in her arms.
A blanket was draped over the back of the small couch, and he lifted it, spreading it over her before taking a seat beside her, just far enough away that he would not disturb her. She seemed grateful for the small amount of extra heat the blanket provided, and sighed softly to herself as she shifted in her sleep.
While she slept, he thought to himself. He didn't know why she was fighting. He didn't know much about her at all.
But he did know that she deserved better than the cold ground and a damp bedroll.
Over an hour passed before her eyelashes fluttered, and she stifled a yawn with her hand before blinking at him, confusion clearly expressed in her blue eyes. "Lord Eliwood?" she asked sleepily, and he smiled at the fact that she was so tired she couldn't even think to be nervous around him.
He patted her knee once and stood. "You should get some sleep," he said quietly, so as to not startle her. "It will be a long day tomorrow."
What else could he say to her? She nodded hesitantly and stumbled to her feet, trying in vain to rearrange the pillow and blanket as they had been only hours before. He chuckled quietly and turned away before she could be embarrassed due to her lack of coordination.
He couldn't shield her from harm, from danger, from her own shyness. She had her reasons for fighting, even though he didn't know what they were. He wanted nothing more than to help in any way possible, but how could he help someone he didn't even know?
After he closed his door behind him, he sighed and leaned against the solid oak, letting his eyes slide shut as he felt the weariness in his bones pull him down. Perhaps the best way to help, he thought, was to do exactly what he had already done.
Florina, just like everyone else in the army, would appreciate a good night's rest in a safe, quiet place.
It was all he could do…for now.
Well, I needed to try. The title is also the name of a church hymn.