Entitled: Esto Perpetue
Fandom: Tales of Vesperia
Length: 3,000 words
Disclaimer: I don't own Tales of Vesperia and etc.
Notes: Okay, yes, I wrote it. But you read it.
Summary: In which Flynn attempts to expose Yuri for the dirty scoundrel he is, and ends up married as a result. Well done. — FlynnEstelleYuri
Her Royal Highness was being difficult.
She had probably learned it from Yuri.
"But I just don't understand!" she peered at the senate from over her book.
Flynn stealthily moved in and confiscated that—that sordid rag before her audience noticed just what their princess was reading. She pouted at him. Flynn resisted. Hard.
One of the senators coughed, and it echoed. Estelle turned back to blink at him, "Yes?"
"We really must focus on the topic at hand, your highness," Anton, (the thin one) bustled around her, coughing and sniffing at most things he laid eyes on. "After all, spring is the season for weddings!"
Flynn focused on Anton's mole and did not permit himself to think of anything else. Estelle slowly tilted her head to the side. "Okay?"
"Yes, well, quite." Gregory adjusted his powdered wig and harrumphed a bit, "Well. There have been offers from the Monteblancs and the Pewters, though they're both a bit young—"
"My son's of a marriageable age!"
"I think her highness might be a bit female for your son, Sir Kimberly."
Estelle was listening to all of this quietly, her head turning as though she were watching a tennis match. Slow furrows had gathered at the edges of her mouth and between her eyes.
"Excuse me, but I think you're confused about something," she folded her hands and looked at the lot of them with clear, patient eyes, "I don't plan on marrying Sir Monteblanc or Sir Pewter."
Flynn quelled his urge to dance. It wouldn't have been very professional.
The members of senate all looked at one another in alarm.
"My son has a very large library!" Sir Kimberly squawked, and was promptly hushed down. The senators huddled together in conference to determine what they could bribe a very wealthy princess with.
Estelle had already lost interest in them. "Flynn, can I have my book back?"
Flynn twitched, "I...er, I really don't think you should be reading something like that, Lady Estellise."
Estelle blinked, "Why not?"
Flynn's ears felt a bit hot, "Well, it's...it's a bit...Can't I just buy you something about ponies?"
Estelle studied him quizzically, "Why are you blushing? Have you read it too?"
"NO," Flynn twitched, "I-I just...only the first few pages! I—completely inappropriate and..."
Estelle watched her book burn sadly. "I thought it was exciting."
Oh, he was going to kill Yuri.
"—Ah, your highness?" Anton sniffed into his perfumed hand kerchief and peered towards Estelle from over his little round spectacles, "While we do, of course, sympathize with your...your youthful impetuousness and need for rebellion—"
Estelle frowned again, and got to her feet, "I'm not rebelling. I just can't marry them."
The senators looked at each other in complete disbelief, "Well, why not?"
"Because I already decided to marry Flynn!" Estelle sighed, little hands fisting as she pouted. "Really! All of you are getting so worked up over nothing!" she took a deep breath to compose herself, and then bounced to her feet. "Flynn, we have to go buy another copy. The human mating ritual is simply thrilling!"
"..." Flynn said.
One of the senators fainted.
Estelle had already made her way to the library doors, and now glanced back at him, "Flynn, come on!"
"Oh, yes," Flynn mumbled weakly, and tripped his way after her, "Sorry to keep you waiting."
He shut the library doors just in time to cut off the explosion.
Flynn spent the carriage ride to the lower quarter sweating. Estelle amused herself by waving at small children, bashful young men, and squirrels.
After several false starts, Flynn cleared his throat and tried to sound authoritative, "Lady Estellise!" he choked out, "I-I think there has been some misunderstanding!"
Estelle looked at him in alarm, "Flynn, are you okay?"
"Yes, thank yo—No! Not okay!" he took a deep breath, held it, and came to the conclusion that he had hallucinated the entire incident. The prospect of his possible mental instability comforted him greatly.
And then Estelle peeled off one of her gloves and pressed a cool, soft hand against his forehead. Flynn choked on absolutely nothing.
Estelle pulled back, her head tilting as she frowned with concern, "You feel like you have a fever. Maybe you should lie down."
Flynn had a suddenly fantasy of resting his head in her lap. There were lots of little tweeting birds to complete this image. The whole thing made him feel a bit light-headed.
"NO!" he squeaked, "I'm fine. Fine. I just have to kill Yuri, is all."
"Oh! So you're suffering from a fit of manly rage!" Estelle clapped her hands together, proud of her own understanding. "But, you really shouldn't fight, Flynn. Yuri is our dear friend!"
Flynn made a pained grunting noise. Estelle was absolutely beaming, "Oh, can we please visit him while we're in the lower quarter? I'm sure he wouldn't mind, and I want to show him my new book! I think I might be able to get him to read this one!"
Flynn did not like this plan. At all.
"But...he might not be home! You know Yuri. Always wandering around."
"Oh, he'll be there," Estelle assured, "He promised me that he'd be there whenever I wanted to see him."
Flynn briefly experienced the manly rage he was supposed to be suffering from.
Yuri was, of course, expecting them.
"Yuri!" Estelle trilled, and ran over to hug him. Yuri patted her head vaguely until she let go of him.
"Hey, Estelle. What're you doing down here?"
"I'm conducting research on the human mating ritual!" Estelle explained enthusiastically. Yuri didn't even blink.
"Oh yeah? How's that going for you?"
"Good! But Flynn keeps burning my books," she sighed, "I just don't understand. Does he hate reading as much as you do?"
"Huh? No. Flynn loves reading. Er, being read to."
"Yuri," Flynn growled. Yuri ignored him magnificently.
"Yuri, can we go get more of...that stuff? Please?"
"Fine," Yuri rolled his eyes, though he looked a bit pleased at Estelle's excited hop. She grabbed his hand and pulled him back outside, darting down the street before Flynn had time to process to what had just happened.
Flynn was sulking. So far, it was not going well, as Estelle was paying more attention to her cotton candy than she was him. This abruptly changed, however, as she turned her pretty face towards him and grinned, "I really like it when I can spend time with you and Yuri. You two are such good friends."
Flynn studied her for a moment, swallowed, and mustered his nerve, "Why don't you marry him?"
"Yuri?" Estelle giggled, "I can't marry Yuri! He's a scoundrel."
And she went back to her cotton candy.
Flynn resumed sulking, and wondered why he couldn't be a scoundrel.
Probably because he couldn't even think about holding Lady Estellise's hand without blushing and mentally begging forgiveness.
"Also, I decided I would marry you a long time ago, so." Estelle shrugged. There were a few pink sugar crystals hiding at the corner of her mouth. Flynn found them absolutely fascinating. And then he remembered that he was supposed to be holding a conversation.
"Erm. I don't think you understand what you're saying," he said, as delicately and gentlemanly as he could manage. Estelle tilted her head, and he abruptly realized that she had taken her gloves off again. She had very pretty hands. Very pretty hands that he had no business looking at. He forced his eyes upwards just in time to see Estelle frown.
"Flynn," she huffed, "I do know."
"Oh. You do."
"Yes! What do you think I've been researching the human mating ritual for?"
Flynn's brain staunchly refused to process this. After his fifth minute of paralyzed silence, Estelle stopped glaring at him long enough to inquire after his health.
"Fine," Flynn babbled, and stepped out of the carriage for a moment so he could scream.
Clearly, something was up. His princess did not...did not accost people like this! And she wasn't supposed to know about—about romance or weddings or "the human mating ritual"!
Flynn buried his face in his hands. And then he got back in the carriage.
"This is Yuri's fault, isn't it?"
Estelle said something he managed to completely miss, as he was too busy telling the driver to turn them around. There was much throttling to be done.
"Flynn," Estelle had seized hold of his cape and was tugging him back as he struggled towards Yuri's lodgings, "Stop!"
Flynn hesitated. He was very good at following orders. Unfortunately, Yuri was very good at appearing from dark allies and rooftops and other sketchy places.
"Yuri!" Estelle cried, before Flynn could do some pest-control, "Flynn doesn't want to marry me!"
Yuri sent Flynn a surprisingly nasty look, "Aw, he's wanted to since he was eighteen."
"But!" Estelle looked distressed, "But you said he'd be happy!"
"I KNEW IT WAS YOU!"
Both Yuri and Estelle were ignoring him. It seemed to happen a lot when they were together. Flynn was suddenly very suspicious.
"Oh," Yuri patted a tearful Estelle on the shoulder, "This guy just doesn't know how to react to happiness."
"I'M RIGHT HERE!"
Estelle sniffled. "What if he doesn't like me?"
Flynn died a little.
"Then I'll just smack him around until he does!" Yuri said confidently. Flynn massaged his temples. Estelle wiped her eyes, and giggled a bit.
"Okay. Bye, Yuri. I feel better now. Come on, Flynn, let's go back!"
Flynn was at a loss.
He had never failed so badly at killing someone.
Yuri waited until Estelle wasn't looking, then socked Flynn's shoulder. "Come on, Commandant. Take responsibility."
"But I haven't—!"
Flynn stopped. He glanced back. Yuri raised his eyebrows and smirked.
"I'll kill you later," Flynn promised, and then made a dignified sprint after his princess, helping her up the high-step before climbing up himself.
They rode back most of the way in total silence, Flynn looking at the floor and Estelle looking at him. Flynn cleared his throat. And then he did it again.
"It's not that I..." he abruptly lost his train of thought, as her eyes were so very green and her smile so trusting, and so he had no options left to him but to cough and look to the side and mumble, "I was just a bit surprised."
Estelle blinked, "Really? I thought you knew!"
Flynn gaped at her, "How could I have known."
"But everyone was talking about it!"
Flynn's left foot spasmed. He suspected his head was on the brink of explosion.
"But..." he made one last, feeble attempt, "But, propriety!"
Estelle cocked her head to the side. She still had those sugar crystals on her face. "Flynn? What're you talking about?"
Flynn slumped, "I don't really know."
"I don't see what the big deal is," Yuri muttered, "She wears white dresses all the time."
Flynn stomped on his foot and otherwise sincerely questioned his taste in best friends.
He bowed from the waist as she came near enough to take his hand, and placed a kiss on her knuckles. The audience sighed appreciatively. Estelle blushed. Yuri rolled his eyes.
"He practiced that on me," he whispered to Estelle, who turned pink from swallowing her giggles. Flynn kicked Yuri's shin. Yuri kicked back, hard. Flynn had to concentrate on not breaking down at his own wedding.
Of course, he had ample time for that. Though he did make it about half way through before realizing that it was actually happening, and Estelle was going be his wife.
Estelle glanced at him, worried. He tried to smile reassuringly, but likely failed if her expression was to be believed.
The audience members murmured, and even the priest looked a little concerned.
"He's going to faint," Yuri observed, loudly. Flynn glared at Yuri. Well. A dark shape that could have been Yuri.
"I am not," he seethed, and straightened. He could do this. He'd had years of training on how to stand up properly.
Estelle stepped a little nearer, and gently took his hand. She wasn't wearing any gloves. Neither was he. He glanced down, and she smiled at him, charming and reassuring.
"Oh," Flynn said, with a rush of something that felt oddly like happiness.
And then he quietly passed out.
Flynn woke up in a dark place, thought back, and hid his face in his pillow with a groan.
Flynn froze. And then he jumped to attention. His head spun, and he staggered marginally, "L-Lady Estellise! Did...what happened?"
"Yuri propped you up the whole time. I don't think anyone even noticed," she paused, frowned a little, "Although I think that you ended up marrying him? Or maybe he married me. It was very confusing."
There were no words to describe the naked horror he was currently experiencing.
"But!" She hopped onto the bed, bouncing a little, "I guess it's okay. We got married too, so you don't have to call me Lady Estellise anymore."
Flynn felt about a million miles away from his comfort zone. And he was having a difficult time looking away from Estelle's night gown.
"Where are we?"
"The royal bedchamber."
"Oh, the royal bedchamber. Of course," Flynn nodded, and then sat down a little shakily. There was a long silence. Estelle tugged on his shirt.
"Are you going to kiss me?"
Flynn grabbed one of the pillows and held it like a shield. "W-W-Wait, what?"
"Well, it's just, I've done a lot of studying! And people usually kiss after they get married. Among other things."
Flynn had another sudden fantasy, this one decidedly less innocent than the one where he'd been sleeping in her lap. His face burned with shame.
He turned on her jerkily, horribly embarrassed, "I—are you sure?"
Estelle nodded eagerly. Flynn melted (with dignity). Cautiously, he shifted so that they faced each other. Estelle smiled at him again, expectant. Flynn twitched.
"Can you close your eyes?"
She did so. Flynn leaned in gingerly, and then pulled back, "Wait, you'll let me know if it hurts, right?"
The look Estelle gave him now was a bit exasperated. "Maybe I should get one of my books for reference?"
Flynn covered his eyes, "No. Please, don't."
Estelle nodded slowly. Her face pinched with concentration, and she set a hand on his knee to brace herself before leaning forwards and pecking him on the cheek. She drew back, looking triumphant.
"Okay!" she held up her hand, "Sign of victory!"
Flynn was pretty sure his brain had simply snapped from the stress of all this. He slapped her hand, hardly aware of what he was doing, but Estelle seemed pleased enough.
"I think that's enough for tonight. We can work up to it!"
"It." Flynn repeated robotically. Estelle's eyes shone.
"The human mating ritual!"
Flynn desperately needed something to hide in. Like a box.
Estelle had apparently abandoned him, and was now crawling happily under the blankets, and wriggling around. Flynn stared at the empty pillow beside her and wondered if he was allowed to sleep on the floor.
...God, he hoped Yuri never found out about this.
With that ominous thought egging him on, Flynn zipped into bed at her side, yanked the sheets up to his chin, and lay perfectly still, collecting his thoughts and his composure.
And then he got out of bed to turn off the lights.
When he fumbled his way back in, Estelle seemed to have migrated over to his half. She leaned her head against his shoulder and wrapped her arms snuggly around his waist. "I'm glad it was you," she whispered.
Flynn's heart skipped a beat. He lay still and quiet until her breathing evened out, and her grip on him had slackened. He touched her face gently, and she murmured.
And then he leaned forwards and kissed her mouth as carefully as he knew how, before pulling back to collect himself. His hands were shaking.
"Estellise," he mumbled, though she didn't answer him.
And he suspected Yuri had been right about him.