Title: A Sight Unseen
Series: FE9
Character/Pairing: Sephiran, Sanaki
Rating: PG?
Word count: 670
Author's Note: fe_contest: Vision.

Consider it a preemptive birthday gift, myaru.

.

Sanaki stared into the smoke. She was waiting for the sign, but all that she felt was sick. Her eyes stung from the sulphurous smell of them, and she felt faint. She'd cleansed herself in purified water with some form of herbs and flowers and spices, fasted for three days which made her even crankier than usual (Though, Sephiran had hidden small pieces of food in his handkerchief and slipped it to her on the sly. She almost thought about forgiving him for his eminent journey for that.)

On her tiny shoulders was the weight of her nation. This message would sustain everyone, it would keep their nation peaceful. Sephiran had said this in kind, but serious way. She knew what this meant: No pranks, no teasing around.

The lights flickered. She gritted her teeth and held her calm.

(She was afraid of the dark. She didn't want to be considered a child. It was always a fight between pride and the chance of keeping Sephiran with her. Sometimes she'd make up stories of thieves and steal the candlesticks just to keep him near, but that'd make Tanith and Sigrun be even more overprotective as usual.)

She started chanting and opening her mind, but she didn't hear any words of any goddess. She could remember Sigrun's admonishments; the faint fragment of a lullaby she'd never heard before from Sephiran's lips; those bulbous senators who were always voting things down – she should say the goddess told her the whole senate should burn. Sephiran would probably approve of this, she thought.

She waited. Nothing came but the sound of her breathing. In a fit of furor, she lashed out at one of the lamps. It clattered into the darkened room, the sacred oil spilling. She felt no regret at this, only petulance. If the goddess didn't want her sacred lamps overturned, then she shouldn't have kept her waiting.

She scrunched up her nose and tried to focus all her being into listening. Nothing came.

They would be expecting something when she came out. What could she tell them? The goddess wants the world to know she's dead and doesn't give a damn about us, so you should all look to her apostle for guidance.

No, she could just hear Sephiran saying, faint amusement in his voice. He found her foibles amusing which sometimes made her happy, because his smile was comforting and other times made her as mad as could be. Who was he to treat her like a child? She was the Apostle.

A broken one who couldn't even hear the voice of the goddess. But still, an Apostle.

What was it Sephiran was always telling her? Protect the people from what they don't have to know.

She felt angry again that the goddess wouldn't even talk to her. Maybe she doesn't even exist, she thought.

But she could hear his voice nice and clear. Everyone is counting on you. It is truly too much of a burden...but in this system it cannot be helped. I think, however, you are strong enough to handle it.

She rose up, and what she saw was him, not some fabled goddess who probably didn't even exist. She put her crown back on, and looked, proud as ever. She was going to have a gigantic steak, and then she was going to tell them that everything was going to be well. No, that was too rosy, if things went poorly, they'd think her a fraud. She could always backtrack and say they'd offended the goddess, so she'd changed her mind. Or...she could say things would be fine for the moment, but the goddess was displeased with them for doubting her servant and would rain destruction for such blasphemies down if they did not immediately change their ways.

She couldn't see the goddess, but she could see Sephiran's approving smile as clear as if he were there. He'd taught her well.