Forgive and Forget
She was never really alone, not really. But sometimes, deep into the night while she pretended to sleep and all was quiet—the Spirits having long returned to the Book of Prophecy—it almost seemed like she was. It was times like those when she remembered, and wondered if she had made the right choice in saving the present world.
"You know the pain of betrayal. One day they'll turn on you again, just as they did me."
Just as they did me. The thought that they might be one in the same was terrifying to her; that she might someday become as twisted and self-righteous as Kullervo…it shook her to her core. She'd been so caught up in the moment, so high on adrenaline that she hadn't had time to even consider his words. Everything had seemed so simple at that moment: he was evil, and she was good. She was going to save the world, and one way or another, and he would be stopped indefinitely.
Tia rolled over onto her side, eyes having long become accustomed to the darkness of her home. She'd been awake for hours now, and she could vaguely register that the sky through her window was beginning to brighten, if only slightly. She almost cringed at the sound of the bedsprings groaning in protest as she eased herself out of bed, glancing nervously at the Book. In the time she'd possessed the tome, she'd come to realize that one or two of the Spirits were exceedingly light sleepers—Neaki and Ur in particular. And though she considered the sprites among her closest friends, she wasn't anywhere near ready to divulge her thoughts to them. Not this time.
That aside, Ur…if he…
Tia shook her head, tip-toeing across the floor as quietly as she could. She couldn't think about him; if she did, she would only feel guiltier, and then he would most certainly notice, 'blind' or not.
She didn't bother with shoes, despite the unwelcome chill that greeted her once she was outside. Tia carefully made her way to the currently deserted stone walkway to Rhoan, staring silently across the water. The stars still reflected on the surface, even with Dawn's approach. She let her eyes slide shut, exhaling slowly; times such as these, she supposed, had definitely been worth saving. If only things could have stayed like that forever. If only—
"Tia…it's barely dawn. Why are you awake?"
She almost smiled, if only because of the typicality of it all. She should have known she wouldn't be able to sneak out without incident; she always had been a bit clumsy, after all.
Opening her eyes, Tia turned her head to look at a steadily approaching Ur. Despite the shackles covering his eyes, he seemed to have little trouble in positioning himself beside her. Blind, indeed.
"I couldn't sleep."
It wasn't a lie. With all the things that went on in her head when left to her own devices, it didn't seem very unusual. Ur only inclined his head in acknowledgement, the two standing in companionable silence for a time before Tia finally cracked. She probably already knew the answer, but…
"Why are you awake?"
Ur pursed his lips slightly before answering. "Neaki heard you leave. She was concerned, but couldn't bring herself to go after you. I'm afraid she's a bit shy, so...she woke me."
More silence. This time, however, it was Ur who spoke first.
"Tia…is something troubling you? You've lost much of your usual energy…"
Yes, she wanted to say. I'm scared. I'm doubting myself and the world. Sometimes, when I talk to people in town, I get so angry and afraid that I can't stand it. They're fickle. They've all betrayed me at least once. They act like nothing ever went wrong. I'm scared. I'm sad. Please help me.
Tia smiled, shaking her head automatically. "Nothing's wrong. I just haven't been able to sleep a bit, that's all. Please don't worry about me."
Ur remained silent, seemingly looking directly at her (though she knew this was impossible). Tell me to tell the truth. Don't just walk away.
"I see. Forgive my misinterpretation."
She felt the steadily-growing knot in her stomach tighten. She shouldn't have been surprised; sight was a vital component in understanding body language. Ur was neither as persistent nor pushy as Rempo was—on the contrary, the perfect gentleman.
There were times she hated that trait.
"You should try to get some more sleep; you need your strength," he continued, and out of the corner of her eye, Tia could see him turn to leave. She almost reached out to grab hold of his arm, but caught herself. Unfortunately, this didn't stop her lips.
She regretted it no sooner had the words left her mouth. Ur paused, turning to peer at her in what she could only guess was curiosity—or expectancy. She fidgeted, trying to ignore the pounding in her chest that threatened to punch a hole through her ribcage.
"Do…do you…think it's more pathetic to forget? Or not be able to forget?"
It was a vague question, almost totally unrelated to her prior thoughts, and she silently berated herself for it. Ur only stood there, though, pondering it before answering slowly.
"I think the problem isn't associated with memory. I believe it's more to do with whether you're willing to let go—forgiveness. It takes a kind and courageous heart to accept it, and even then...the process is hard."
It was an eerily specific answer, and before she could probe further, he had dissolved into the early dawn light. She could hear the faint clank of armor as soldiers approached their posts, and it was with some hesitance that she returned to her home.
Forgiving…forgetting or otherwise. They were long and trying processes, sometimes even painful. As she crawled back into bed, she mused as to whether that, rather than combat and conflict, had truly been the real obstacle all along.
Just a little drabble to show you guys I'm still alive. The conclusion kinda sucks, and the flow's a bit tedious, but…no, it pretty much sucks altogether. XD
I felt like writing angsty!Tia, for whatever reason. As cute and wonderful as she and Yumil are, they're only human; they must have had their doubts here and there.
…Pay no attention to my baseless justification. ''''OTL