Between the Lines
By: Manna


Quiet mornings were preferable when one wanted to do nothing more than contemplate life and all that it could offer. It was her favorite time of the day.

Eirika sat at her writing desk, her long, loose nightgown brushing against the bottoms of her curled feet. The tip of the quill she held in her hand tickled her collarbone. She was lost in thought; though her eyes focused on the blank parchment in front of her, it was clear her mind was elsewhere.

It had to be special, brilliant, beautiful. Perfect.

Seth had never claimed to be eloquent in his speech, but when she least expected it, he always managed to touch her heart in the way only he—the man she loved—could. Sometimes it happened through words, and other times through actions. It didn't really matter to her how he showed her he loved her—she knew that he did, and that was all that was really important.

An absent smile crossed her lips as she recalled daisies in her hair and the brush of lips by the creek. Suddenly, she shook her head and tried to focus. It was important that he knew—knew—that…that what? That she loved him? That no one could ever replace him? That somehow, someday, some way, the pieces of the puzzles of their lives would fall into place? That happily-ever-after wasn't so difficult to attain after all?

She rolled her tongue between her teeth and sighed.

She hadn't thought writing, of all things, would be difficult! After all, she was quite an accomplished young woman, if she was anything at all, and she never had any trouble speaking her—oh! Her lips curled upward.

It only took a few minutes, and then her work was done. She folded the parchment in thirds and sealed it with her personal seal before hurrying to get dressed.


After she readied herself for the day, she set out to find Seth. He was, of course, where he always was—waiting patiently for her in the gardens, though he pretended to be on guard duty or some other such nonsense. Eirika knew he was not there for just duty or for her, but for both, as being with her was both pleasure and duty rolled into one pleasant package. He had said so himself, once.

A light blush stained her cheeks as he turned to see her standing there. She felt rooted to the spot as he bowed; how could it be so difficult to cast her eyes aside, to keep from staring? She realized there wasn't much use in even attempting to pretend she wanted to avert her eyes. She enjoyed looking at him as much as, if not more, than he did her. She smiled as he straightened, her blush darkening slightly as she held out the letter.

"For you," she murmured, and delighted in the bubbly feeling that made her toes curl as he took the letter from her hand and let his fingers brush against hers for a moment that was much too short.

After he opened it, he blinked and let his eyes flicker to hers as his head cocked slightly to the side. "Princess," he said hesitantly, looking back to the letter. "It is blank."

"I know." She took his hands in hers as best she could, not able to do much more than to hold the tips of his fingers. It seemed to have some effect on him, as the parchment fell to the ground and remained there, forgotten, amid the tulips that tried to push their way out from beneath the soil.

He didn't say a word; he only squeezed her hands.

She smiled at him and tried to quell her nervousness before she spoke, but it made her voice quiver just a bit. "I spent all morning trying to…figure out how to write a letter to you. I wanted it to say everything that I felt."

He said nothing. He only stroked the backs of her fingers once, encouraging her to continue.

"You deserve to know." She swallowed, "I want you to know how much you mean to me, but I don't know how to say that. How can you tell a person that they mean everything to you, that you'll love them no matter what, that love will somehow…"

"Find a way?" he finished, his voice a breath against her cheek.

She wrapped her arms around him. "Yes."

"To put such a thing in words is impossible," he said after a moment.

"I realize that now," she said, chuckling. "But you needed to know. I had to tell you, somehow."

A long moment passed before he pulled gently away. She knew he wasn't afraid of being seen; they weren't trying to keep anything secret, after all. She waited patiently for him to speak, but she first felt the tickle of his fingers against the edge of her jaw.

"It will, Eirika," he said, and he sounded so convincing that she knew she could believe him even though she wasn't sure of what he was referring to. If she could have pulled her focus away from his lips as he spoke, she might have understood immediately.

"It will what?" she asked absently, bringing her hand up to her face to rest against his.

"Find a way," he said, a hint of a smile playing on his face.


Author Notes:

This was for Starlight Lady for Livejournal's FE Exchange community! Feedback would be very appreciated!