Title: Unprincess-like Conduct
Game: Fire Emblem 9/10
Word Count: 1,697
Pairings/Characters: Elincia, Ike, Geoffrey, Lucia, Bastian, slight Ike/Elincia, Geoffrey/Elincia
Warnings: Slight out of character conduct on the behalf of Elincia. But alcohol does that to pretty much anyone. XD
Beta: forgotten-relic
Spoilers: It might help if you've beaten Path of Radiance, but it isn't necessary.
Summary: Bastian decides that Elincia needs to relax, so he makes her some special tea.
Author's Notes: This is the official entry for the "Yield" challenge for FE_Contest. A silly, fluffy-ish piece, I decided that it was high time to write about characters OTHER than Zelgius. (Not to say that I've given up on him, but I do want the community to realize that I can write more than angsty Zelgius-centric drabbles.) I rather enjoyed this foray into the world of Elincia and company - even if I'm torturing Geoffrey just a little. Heh.

Elincia's nerves were shot. The impending coronation loomed like a behemoth on the horizon, there was a constant flow of nobles to meet her, and then the crash course in running a country was taking everything out of her.

Bastian, Count of Fayre, had taken pity on the poor girl and fixed her some special tea, which was more whiskey than tea. After the first sip she had wrinkled her nose and set the cup down, claiming that she could drink no more. However Bastian employed his infamous silver tongue and was as persuasive as ever, and after a few more sips, Elincia was feeling downright joyful.

"Now, my dearest princess, tell me what troubles your fair heart," Bastian said when her cup was empty. He eased off of his usual superfluous manner of speaking in hopes of getting the young woman to openly speak her mind.

"I hate the nobles," she said candidly, causing Bastian's eyes to widen. "Oh, not you, Bastian! I'm rather fond of you. I know you. It's the other's I hate. They're so…fake!" She lifted her cup to her lips and finished off the remaining beverage, delighting in the warmth that spread through her.

Bastian chuckled as he leaned back in his chair. "I will not oppose you there, princess."

"I hate that they think that they can walk all over me because I wasn't groomed to take over," she continued. She looked down at her empty tea cup and frowned before raising her eyes to Count Fayre. "Bastian, may I have some more tea?"

"Of course, princess," he said, before fixing her another cup. This particular blend was more tea than whiskey, but there was still a fair amount of alcohol in it. Once it was fixed, he slid the cup in front of her and politely hid his smirk behind his hand as she lifted it to her lips and drank greedily from it.

After she had taken a sufficient drink from her cup, she gently set it down and looked at Bastian with concern in her brown eyes. "Several of the other lords have commented that it is improper for a lady to rule alone." Elincia frowned again. "The apostle doesn't need a man at her side to rule, so why should I?"

"I wholly concur, your majesty. Indeed, it is quite demeaning to the fairer sex to insinuate that you are incapable of running a country without a man at your side," Bastian commented as he sipped his own tea, which was alcohol free.

"Indeed!" Elincia said before she picked up her cup and drained it of its remaining contents. She blinked a few times and realized that she was starting to feel a little fuzzy, but for the first time in a very long time she felt utterly relaxed.

"Not to insinuate that you need a man at your side, but I am curious - tell me, princess, if you had your choice, who would you marry?" Bastian asked as he reached over and slid Elincia's cup towards him. Perhaps it would be best to keep the princess from drinking too much.

Her eyes flitted towards one of the windows and a faraway expression crossed her face. "Hmm, well, someone I know."

"That always helps," Bastian agreed.

"I suppose it wouldn't hurt if he were handsome."

"Yes, of course, my princess."

"I do think that he should be someone that the people of Crimea can look up to," she said as she reached up and absently began to twirl a lock of hair in her fingers.

"Absolutely," Bastian said with a nod, before leaning forward and grinning rakishly at her. "Seeing as I fit all of those criteria, I would accept your proposal if you wished to marry me."

Elincia looked positively flabbergasted at his last statement before she smiled widely and exploded into giggles. "Oh Bastian, you're so funny!" she giggled, one arm clenched to her waist, the other holding her fist in front of her mouth.

Sitting back with a look of mock disappointment, Bastian sighed. "You wound me, my princess, with such a cruel rejection."

"Really Bastian, ever the joker," Elincia continued to giggle.

"Well, your spirits have been lifted, my princess. I am glad to be of service," he said as he rose from his seat. He cleared the dishes from the table, setting them on the cart they were brought in on and rang for a maid to come and take it away. "Come along, I think you have earned an afternoon nap."

He was escorting her to her room, less questions about her giggly behavior if she were in his presence, when they ran into Geoffrey, Lucia and Ike in the hall. The trio had been in the midst of discussing Crimea's restoration and was quite pleased to bump into Elincia and Bastian.

"Your majesty, just the person we wanted to see," Lucia said with a smile.

"Oh, Lucia, my dearest friend!" Elincia gushed as she uninhibitedly launched herself at her milk sister, embracing her tightly. "I must tell you how much I appreciate your support."

Sudden hugs from Elincia were not normal, and the scent of alcohol on her breath was really not normal, so Lucia cocked a questioning eyebrow at Bastian who merely shrugged in response.

Soon Elincia moved on to Geoffrey, who stood in her embrace stiffly, as if he was unsure as to what the proper protocol was. Elincia was like his sister, but she was soon to be his queen. Did he hug her back? Did he simply let her embrace him? Did he push her away and remind her that there were certain protocols they had to follow now that she was to take the throne?

Poor Geoffrey didn't have to wonder much longer, as Elincia released him and then smiled at Ike. The young lord gave her an awkwardly shy smile that made her giggle. "My lord Ike," she said as she embraced him. Ike put his arms around her in a tentative hug, taking great care not to embrace her too tightly.

"Er…Princess Elincia," he murmured back.

She looked up at him, one hand reaching up to gently caress his face. "You are very handsome, my lord Ike. Has anyone ever told you so?"

"Uh, no," he answered as he dropped his arms to his sides and attempted to step back. However, Elincia held on to him.

"You are very handsome. And I know you," she informed him.

"Ah, yes. Well," he paused long enough to clear his throat, "that's because of all that time we spent together during the war," Ike agreed, feeling more and more uncomfortable with each passing moment.

"And all of Crimea looks up to you," she told him.

"Oh? I didn't know that," he said as he once more tried to step back but was unable to. Elincia was determined to keep him from retreating.

Bastian's eyes widened as his eyebrows shot straight up into his hairline. Oh dear, what had he started?

"I could marry you," she breathed, and Ike was fairly sure that he had misheard her. Or he was, until she leaned up and planted a kiss firmly on his mouth.

Ike's brain nearly overloaded with thoughts that first went,

"So this is what it's like to kiss somebody,"

…followed closely by,

"Huh, if I knew it was this fun I would have done it sooner,"

…which was immediately quashed by,

"By the goddess I'm kissing Elincia in front of Geoffrey and he's going to kill me dead if he ever catches me alone after this."

When they broke apart, Elincia had a very lazy and satisfied smile on her face. Geoffrey had been frozen since Elincia hugged him, which meant that he hadn't even noticed that she had just planted a very wet and somewhat sloppy first kiss on Ike. Lucia's jaw had dropped before she turned a glare that promised much pain and suffering on Bastian.

Count Fayre, however, was grinning like an idiot and would happily accept his punishment, especially if it came from Lucia.

"Your majesty, perhaps you should get some rest," Lucia said as she gently took Elincia's arm and tugged her away from the furiously blushing Ike.

"Oh, yes, of course. Bastian had said that I had earned an afternoon nap," Elincia said absently, a wistful look in her brown eyes. In her mind, images of Ike by her side as she ruled Crimea flitted by like a hopeful dream.

"Of course he did," Lucia replied as she linked her arm with her princess's and shot a parting dirty look at the Count of Fayre. "So, how long have you had feelings for Sir Ike?"

Elincia giggled. "I thought he was quite handsome when I first met him. I've been positively dying to kiss him since the war began."

"Oh really?" Lucia asked her princess as they walked down the hall. Their voices faded as they made their way to Elincia's royal chambers.

"Well, that was quite interesting," Bastian said at long last, breaking the awkward silence that had fallen in the hall upon Elincia and Lucia's departure. "As the ever lovely Lady Lucia has relieved me of my duty of escorting the princess to her chambers, I will go and expand my mind by reading a good book. Fare thee well, my friends." He walked away from the two stunned men with a smile on his face and a chuckle in his throat.

Ike licked his lips, faintly tasting Elincia and whiskey upon them. He hadn't exactly made it a secret his admiration for her, and kissing her had been far from unpleasant, but he wished that it hadn't been in front of Geoffrey who so obviously wore his affections for the princess on his sleeve. He glanced at the Royal Knight, who was still standing rooted to his spot in the hall, his face blank. Thanking the goddess and his lucky stars above, Ike continued down the corridor and hoped that Geoffrey would have no memory of what had just happened.

He didn't need to remember the day that Elincia had given into some rather unprincess-like conduct.

Reviews are appreciated!!