Worth Every Copper
Fire Emblem Contest
Theme #001: "Rumors/Gossip"
She wishes that turning back time were possible.
How could she have known that demanding 20,000 gold from Hector would blow up in her face? She couldn't have seen it coming, but still, the memory of it bugs her, nips at her ankles like an Etrurian lapdog. If Lord Hector had not been so generous—or stupid, depending on whom was asked—Dorcas's wife may never have recovered from her illness, and Farina, just a silly mercenary at the time, would never have gotten to know the young Ostian Lord Hector at all.
She liked to joke about how she was worth every copper he'd paid for her, but the joke is stale, now, and the thought of it leaves a bad taste in her mouth.
She isn't sure which version of the story she prefers—perhaps the most commonly spoken of one is her favorite; it tells of Hector's lust on the battlefield, of his desperation to lay with a woman, any woman. 20,000 gold to sate the desire that burned within him seemed like a small price to pay at the time. The gold wasn't enough for the woman whose services he'd paid for, and she knew that she could squeeze more from him than mere money. Blackmail would grant her anything she wanted—even marriage.
He'd paid for her "services", all right.
She'd heard more synonyms for "slut" in the last ten years than she'd ever known existed.
Mercenary, the men joke, elbowing one another. She wasn't untouched when she wed him, the women say in hushed tones. Don't end up like her.
Though her pride burns deep, and she still considers herself strong of character, the insults burn. Perhaps they hurt so badly because she can honestly not deny all of the accusations, not without revealing more about herself than anyone needs to know.
But also, she thinks as she walks down the length of the dining room, her shoulders back, her eyes focused straight ahead, there is another reason, one more important than any other.
And without adjusting her gaze, without turning her head, without changing her expression, she gives the tiny hand held protectively within her own a gentle squeeze.
I have thought, many times before, about how questionable it seems in-game for Hector to pay Farina 20,000g. If you create a scenario where her assistance is absolutely necessary, you still have the other Ostians (Oswin, Serra, Matthew) busy trying to figure out why exactly they're not paid that much.
This was written for the Fire Emblem Contest community on Livejournal (fe_contest)! Thank you for reading; feedback is very much appreciated.