Standard Disclaimer Time! I'm afraid I don't own Lezard and Lenneth, or any of the characters and realms of Valkyrie Profile. That honor belongs to Tri Ace and Square Enix. I also do not make any money off of this fic. This is done purely for entertainment purposes.
Some of you might be familiar with this story. I think I first started this either in 2007, or 2008. I was happy with the first chapter, but rushed to write the continuation. And I absolutely HATED what I had written. It made me cringe with embarrassment just to think about chapters 2 and 3. And so I never worked on the story again...until now, when I decided to rewrite it. I got up to 10.5 KB on the rewrite of 2, when I realized part of chapter one needed to be written as well, the whole wedding ceremony. But it's okay! I think it's improved, since warbride was probably the first wedding scene I ever wrote. I've since had a lot of practice in another fandom for wedding scenes, though I still don't like writing them that much.
I hope it won't disappoint the people who liked the original Warbride, and I'm leaving the original up in case you want to see the changes I made to this and future chapters. Chapter 2 is vastly different already in it's half done state. It's a Lenneth point of view instead of Lezard's for one thing. ^_- So anyway, sit back, read, maybe review if you care too (I'd love it if you did and it helps keep me motivated.) and hopefully enjoy!
The private bathing chambers of the Goddess Freya were a sight to behold. Immense in size, with four huge pillars of ivory, that were situated in each corner. They held up a domed ceiling, it's mirror center reflecting it's sheen directly over the waters, so that the bather found themselves surrounded in endless blue. One wall had been converted into a miniature waterfall, with it's clear water running down into the swimming pool sized tub. Pastel tiles of purple and blue intermixed with the ivory white on the floor leading into the water, and lovely murals of happy times of various gods decorated the walls.
It was an elegant room, large and far too grand for the simple task of bathing. But then Freya had always been one for grandiose displays, showing off her status in the Aesir pantheon. The beauty of the chamber was currently lost on it's sole occupant, the soothing sound of the waterfall being interrupted by the splish splash of someone moving about, and a loud sigh of frustration.
It was not Freya who bathed this day, but a lesser Goddess, a Valkyrie named Lenneth. She had a frown on her face, as she waded to the pool's edge, intending to rest on the marble steps. The water flowed just over her breasts, leaving the tops and her shoulders bare, and flowers drifted by, their scent heavy and heady, flavoring the water and her skin with their fragrance.
Lenneth had dismissed the attendants that hovered around her, wishing to be left alone with her thoughts. She didn't like being pampered, was unused to such treatment, being fawned over like a prized pet. The einherjar had stroked her hair, winding shampoo through it's silken strands, and caressed her skin with sponges and soap, intent on making her squeaky clean. It only made her feel like a sacrifice being made ready for the altar. Lenneth let out another sigh, realizing she was indeed that, a concession of war, a prize freely given up to ensure the Aesir's continued survival.
It had occurred so suddenly, Lenneth barely had time to process all that had happened. She remembered waking up from her slumber, summoned by Freya. The golden haired Goddess had not looked her best, resting on her knees, struggling to stay up right. She still looked regal, even though her dress had been in tatters, and there had been dirt on her face. The Goddess had been in a vicious battle, one she had not emerged from as the victor, but as the loser. It shocked Lenneth to see her like this, and she had demanded to know who had done this, who was capable of harming the Lady Freya.
She got her answer in the form of a name she had never before heard. Lezard...Lezard Valeth. Her mouth had surely dropped open in shock as Freya spun a tale of a mortal man becoming a God, stealing Odin's power, and claiming Gungnir for his own. If she had been staring mouth a gape at Freya beforehand, surely the look on her face must have been comical indeed to learn this new God had issued one, and only one condition for sparing the Vanir Maiden and her Aesir followers. He had demanded Lenneth be summoned, and given unto him. What other choice did Freya have but to comply? Lenneth understood this, and knew that the whole history of the Gods was littered with arranged marriages and forced unions. But deep down, in her heart she found it hard to accept. Why her, why put the burden of what happens to her fellow Gods on her shoulders?
Lenneth sighed again, ducking her head underneath the water. She stayed under for several minutes, and it was with a gasp that she came up, tossing silver blue hair over her shoulder. Her hands came up to her face, wiping away the water in her eyes. Her vision cleared just in time to see Freya enter the room. The Goddess was subdued, her recent loss making her humble. She found it hard to look Lenneth in the face, feeling ashamed of the deal she had brokered. And rightfully so, thought Lenneth privately, turning away from her old friend.
"Lenneth..." Freya said, saddened to see the young Goddess turn her back to her.
"What is it?" Lenneth asked, her tone frosty.
"I...just wanted to see how you are doing..." Freya knelt down by the edge of the pool, letting the fingers of one hand stroke the rippling surface.
"I'm fine." Came her curt answer.
"Are you really?" wondered Freya out loud.
Water sloshed about as Lenneth spun around to face her, cerulean eyes flashing with anger. "I'm as well as can be expected under these circumstances!" The Goddess' face was solemn in comparison to the Valkyrie's rage. "Don't give me that look." Lenneth told her. "I can't bear to see your fake sadness."
"It's not faked." Freya replied, a frown on her face. "I truly regret the decision I had to make. Believe me...it was not one I made lightly."
"I...I know that..." Lenneth said, appearing slightly mollified. "I just wish I had been consulted before you agreed to this...Lezard's demands." She gave a shake of her head, realizing she would not have chosen differently if the fate of the Aesir had been left to her to decide.
"Would that all hostages had a choice in the manner..." murmured Freya, and for a brief second pain appeared in her emerald eyes. Once upon a time, she too had been given up to end a war, a time when her father and sister Frei were traded by the Vanir to the Aesir as a peace offering. Lenneth seemed to sense her thoughts, for she next asked, "How did you do it? Freya...how did you come to grips with your situation?"
"It wasn't easy..." Freya sounded tired. "I had my sister and father here to comfort me, so it wasn't all that bad. And Odin is...was..." She corrected herself, stifling back a sob as she thought of her dead lover. "Was handsome and charming..."
"Hmph..." Lenneth scoffed, hands going to rest on her hips as she looked at the Fertility Goddess. "I won't be swayed so easily by good looks and a silver tongue."
"You'll be unhappy if you don't come to accept your situation...make the best of it..." replied Freya, ignoring the insolence in Lenneth's words.
"Oh I've accepted it..." Lenneth said sourly. "I just don't have to like it!" She slapped her hand in the water, droplets spraying upwards from the force of her fist. Freya sighed, shaking her head at the Valkyrie's small display of tantrum. "It might not be so bad..."
"Freya, he's a mortal!"
"Mortal no longer..." The Fertility Goddess reminded her.
"Yes, because of power he stole...Both Odin and my sister...gone!" Lenneth said, wondering what had befallen Silmeria. "Am I too to suffer their fate...?"
"I don't think so..." It was Freya's turn to look away. "The way he spoke of you..." Lenneth's eyes were boring into her, though she did her best to avoid meeting them.
"Besides..." Freya said, thinking it best to change the subject. "I don't think he intends to assimilate any more Gods...not unless we force his hand."
"How did he speak of me?" asked Lenneth, not willing to drop the issue.
"Freya tell me!" Lenneth ordered, moving closer to the Goddess.
"He spoke...almost like a man possessed..." The words came out reluctantly. "As though he truly cared about you..."
Lenneth frowned. "How can that be? I've never met him before..."
"He seemed to know you quite well." Emerald eyes turned calculating. "Are you quite certain you've never heard of him before this day?" Lenneth let out a scoff. "I'm positive I don't know this man, Lezard, at all."
"I truly don't!" insisted Lenneth.
"I believe you." Freya paused, cocking her head to the side, as though listening for something. "Come..." She held out her hand to the submerged Goddess. "..The day grows late and our...guest grows impatient." Lenneth stared at the outstretched hand a moment, before reluctantly taking it. She allowed Freya to guide her up the stairs, onto the tiles, where she stood, naked, and dripping wetly onto the floor. A large white towel was conjured, and Lenneth wrapped it around herself, patting her body dry.
The two Goddesses walked out of the bathing chamber, into the adjacent room. It was much smaller, a dressing room, filled with comfortable chairs and lounges, and an array of dresses hanging on one wall. A gorgeous white dress was propped up on a wooden mannequin in the center of the room, the bodice encrusted with tiny diamonds all the way down to the waist. Lenneth ignored this dress, going to sit down at the small vanity. She stared glumly at her reflection, watching over her shoulder as Freya approached her.
"Do you need help with your hair?" Freya asked, running fingers through the wet strands of Lenneth's silver blue hair. They slid easily through, the silken locks being tangle free.
"I can manage..." Lenneth said with a slight shake of her head. She pulled her hair forward over her shoulder, separating it into three parts. She began making the braid she usually wore her hair in, still watching Freya's reflection nervously pace behind her.
"It's a beautiful dress..." The Goddess said, stopping before the mannequin. Her hands hovered over the diamonds, a hairsbreadth away from touching the twinkling stones.
"I'd rather wear my armor." Lenneth said, clearly not sharing the blonde's opinion of the gown. She was surprised to hear Freya let out a laugh.
"It is not to battle you go to, Lenneth!"
"It certainly feels like it to me..." Lenneth said glumly, having noted her armor had been removed from the room. Her hand clenched on her own hair, longing for the feel of her sword's pommel. To feel her blade, unsheathed in her hand would have been of great comfort to the girl just then.
"Well...the mortals do have a saying..." Freya said, trying to sound wise. "Love is a battlefield..."
"It's not love!" Lenneth turned around to glare at the older woman. "It's one human's sickening lust at best!"
"I..." Freya bowed her head in apology. "Forgive me...I did not mean to imply..." Lenneth turned back to the mirror, blue eyes troubled. "Perhaps you should get dressed."
"Musn't keep Lezard waiting..." Lenneth answered bitterly. She let out an angry sounding growl, feeling as though these minutes were her last as a free woman. The Valkyrie finished up her hair, and rose from her seat, letting her towel drop to the floor. She quickly slipped into her bra and panties, pulling a slip on over her under things. She then walked towards the center of the room where Freya already had the gown unbuttoned, and was pulling it free of the mannequin. Lenneth reached out with a hand, touching the heavy skirt, feeling it's soft velvet material.
"It really is lovely..." Freya tried again. A noncommittal noise was all the answer she got from Lenneth. The Valkyrie held up her arms, allowing Freya to slip the dress up over her head. It slid down her body, and the Vanir hurried to do up the buttons. It was a snug fit, being formfitting to the waist, the bodice off the shoulder, with a generous dip in the front to show off ample cleavage. It's sleeves were short, just a few inches of cloth. Elbow length gloves, and a swatch of white silk for her neck being accessories to the gown.
"You make a lovely bride..." commented Freya, and Lenneth was surprised to see a hint of tears in the Goddess' eyes.
"...Thank you..." Lenneth said at last, feeling absolutely ridiculous in this white get up. She shook her head when Freya approached her with a veil, the sheer length of gauze being attached to a tiny crown of silver. "I would rather face him head on, then hide behind that cloth..."
"As you wish..." Freya turned, and set it down on a nearby table. She turned back to the Valkyrie, and once again took her arm. The golden haired Goddess hadn't been doing much teleporting since her defeat, but this time she spared no expense in power. Bells rang, as the air shimmered around them. Lenneth dully watched as the colors of the room blurred, mixing together, even as she felt the jarring sense of being pulled through the air. The two teleported out of Vingolf, the abode known as the hall of the Aesir Goddesses, and into one of the many halls of Valhalla. Odin's throne room was vacant, it's current state of disrepair making it unsafe and unsuitable for this somber occasion.
Lenneth blinked, not recognizing the room they found themselves in, and not really caring. Instead she looked around at the small crowd gathered there, eyes seeking out the one unfamiliar face among the Aesir. Her eyes landed on the back of a well dressed man clad in a midnight blue cape. He was turning slowly, an expectant look in his eyes. She was surprised to see him wearing glasses, but even more taken aback by the fact he didn't seem overtly sinister in appearance. He looked almost...gentle, he certainly didn't look like the type who could stage a successful coup against the Gods, let alone subdue ones as powerful as Odin and Freya.
His eyes landed on her, and his lips twisted up into a smile, and she shivered at the dark look he flashed her. He was looking at her with open hunger, not bothering to conceal his desire. It was enough to make her take a step back in nervous apprehension, even as he approached. She had time to take in other details about him, see his brown hair, short in the back, with long bangs that fell messily over his eyes. And his eyes! As he drew closer she was mesmerized to see a beautiful shade of purple, the likes of which she had never before glimpsed, except in amethyst stones.
"Lenneth..." His voice was rich and cultured, with just a hint of arrogance to it. Though she had to admit she might be biased when it came to judging him. She supposed it was pleasant enough, she certainly liked the way her name sounded when it rolled off his tongue. There was also warmth in his tone, and she found her hands quickly taken by his, wrists captured in his much larger grip. He swiftly pulled her into his embrace, much to her embarrassment. "How I've waited for this moment..." He whispered, a kiss gracing her ear lobe.
Lenneth was turning her head away, glancing as best she could over her shoulder to Freya. The golden haired Goddess stood behind the hugging pair, looking lost and helpless. Lenneth flashed her a look as though to say, "This is who you handed me over to?" The Valkyrie was uncomfortable with the ease and familiarity in which the new God addressed her with, her body stiffening in his arms. He seemed not to notice, or perhaps, she thought with dismay, he just didn't care. He certainly didn't seem to mind showing off his apparent affection for her in front of the gathered Gods and Goddesses. Lenneth's cheeks flamed red, two bright points of color on her skin. Freya at last took pity on the young Goddess, and coughed pointedly.
The sound seemed to be enough to garner Lezard's attention, and he fixed cool eyes on Freya as he pulled away from Lenneth's body. His hands lingered though, sliding slowly off her waist, fingers caressing as though he could not get enough of touching her. Once free of him, Lenneth quickly averted her face, focusing all her attention on Freya. The golden haired Goddess was nervously twitching her hands, green eyes a mixture of sadness and anger as she approached the pair.
"Let's get this over with..." Lezard said, sounding bored. Lenneth watched as the Vanir maiden narrowed her eyes at the new God. She gave a toss of her head, blonde hair flying, as she took on a haughty tone of voice. "Marriage vows are not something to take lightly."
"I agreed to this little ceremony...did I not?" He demanded.
"Only because I wanted to ensure your intentions toward Lenneth were..." She stumbled over the words, muttering under her breath. "...true and good."
"Whatever..." Lezard said mockingly. "I don't need a show of ceremony to claim what's mine." Lenneth jerked back at that, turning to give him an angry look. He merely turned and smiled at her, patting her hand as though to reassure her. It only made her glare harder at him, thinking her early assessment of him as being arrogant was true indeed. Her right hand clenched into a fist, and she fought not to give in to the temptation to punch him, wishing to see that smirking smile wiped off his face.
Grumbles from the crowd alerted them to their angry audience. "But...do go on, if it will put the lot of you at ease..." Lezard acquiesced, with a tiny nod of his head.
Freya almost bit her tongue, fighting back a sarcastic response to this infuriating man. Instead she gestured them towards the altar up on the stone dais. As a show of strength, she teleported once again, appearing on the other side of it. The Vanir was solemn as she gazed at the approaching pair, Lezard's steps confident and sure, Lenneth trailing a step behind him, slow and reluctant.
Weddings among the Gods were often lavish affairs, with much feasting and drinking to be held. The Aesir did love an excuse to celebrate, and the only thing that could compare to the festive mood of a wedding, was a particularly triumphant victory among their battlefields. This wedding today, was neither lavish, nor festive, the mood somber, angry tension filling the room. The Gods here remembered their loss, remembered and resented it.
They might even resent handing Lenneth over to the one who had defeated them, but it seemed none dare risk Lezard's anger in protesting. Freya herself, had her lips pursed together, as though trying to hide the angry glower that was festering inside her. With Odin slain, it was up to Freya to officiate over the happenings of this day, the Goddess seeming put upon in her role as Minster.
Freya hadn't even dressed up for this wedding, none of the Gods had, many of them still wearing the dirty and tattered remains of their outfits. Lenneth had no doubt they had gotten that way battling with Lezard, a realization that had the young Goddess eyeing him with renewed interest. He didn't look like much of a fighter, but she very well knew that gentle looking demeanor could hide the monster capable of slaying Odin.
She was aware of both Freya speaking, and Lezard's smile becoming more pronounced. He had noticed her study of him, and it seemed to please him. Lenneth kept her gaze impassive, letting him think he merited no thought at all to her. And certainly not a smile in return!
Freya was launching into a shortened version of one of Odin's ceremonial speeches. Odin had always been one to like the sound of his own voice, droning on and on for longer than appropriate. Lenneth wasn't sure if she should be grateful that Freya was shortening the ceremony, the Goddess not wanting to think what would happen after they were wed. Nor did she want to spend an eternity standing up before the entirety of the Aesir, their sympathetic gazes on her.
There was no one to give Lenneth away, no father to call upon, though in a way she reasoned that all the Gods were handing her over to Lezard. Freya wisely chose to skip over that formality, calling instead on Sjofn's name. There was an implied insult in using Sjofn in the ceremony, she was after all a Goddess who resided over HUMANS' passions. Freya was subtly mocking Lezard for his mortal beginnings, and if he realized it, he made no complaint.
No, he was too busy staring at Lenneth, gaze smoldering with an intense heat, one that had her skin do a crawl in response. Lenneth was not pleased to be the recipient of such a look, finding it a struggle to maintain a bored, uninterested expression.
"Sjofn!" Freya's voice echoed loudly in the high ceiling room. "We call upon you, kindler of desire, bringer of love to join us here, and witness the bonding of Lenneth Valkyrie and Lezard Valeth."
Sjofn wasn't expected to answer, she had no speaking role in this ceremony, although she did approach the altar. In her hands was several silk scarves, all of different colors. The colors normally represented the hopes and dreams the guests had for the couple about to be wed, but Lenneth couldn't imagine the Aesir wishing Lezard well.
There was a subtle tensing of Lezard's arm, though he didn't look at the approaching Sjofn. He seemed reluctant to cease looking at Lenneth, an open yearning in his eyes as though she was the only one in the room that truly mattered to him. Such a thought unnerved her, Lenneth spying Freya with a steel dagger in her hand. It was that dagger that got Lezard to react, ether flaring up along his right hand and arm.
Lenneth tore her gaze away from Lezard to look at the Vanir Maiden in alarm. Her mouth started to open, the first words she would speak in this Lezard's presence a protest. "Freya...no...Anything but that!"
Freya's looked back at her, emerald eyes saddened by what she must do. Lenneth was stiffening, even as her body poised to run, and it was Lezard who grabbed her by the wrist, holding her hand steady for the slash of the dagger. The entire time, he kept that threat of ether up, a warning to Freya to not turn the dagger against him with deadly intent.
Somehow Lezard tolerated the blonde Goddess slashing open his palm, and it was then that their bleeding hands were forced to clasp one another. Lenneth looked not at Lezard, but at their joined hands, feeling the horror wash through her. A blood oath. They had bound her to him with a blood oath, an unbreakable bond that would tie them together for all eternity, for good or for bad.
Lenneth both wanted to sag to her knees in horror and scream, alternatively wanting to attack any and everyone in range. How could they have done this to her, how could Freya have forced such a burden upon her? But she made no move to attack, numb and standing still as Sjofn began winding the scarves around their bleeding hands. Each one was knotted into a cord, to keep the scarves in place as Freya spoke over them.
"Do you, Lenneth Valkyrie, join us here of your own free will, to acknowledge before us the bond that is shared between yourself and Lezard Valeth?"
Lenneth almost laughed then, a hoarse hissing sound that would have been more misery than joy. This whole ceremony was a mockery, the concept of her free will a laughable offense. Something must have shown in her eyes, Freya made a concerned sound, speaking her name harshly.
She could have, perhaps should have said no. And yet the sight of the Aesir, in their beaten down states reminded her of what they were up against. She took a deep breath, tamping down the impulse to scream, and let out a confidant yes. Immediately triumph flashed in Lezard's eyes, his grip on her bleeding hand, seeming to tighten in possession.
When Freya asked Lezard to acknowledge their bond, the man spoke without hesitation, never flinching as he gazed at Lenneth with open desire. "I do."
Freya touched their joined hands, lifting them up before the crowd. "Here before these witnesses, Lenneth Valkyrie and Lezard Valeth have sworn vows to each other. With this cord, and this spilled blood, they have been bound to each other." Normally the traditional vows would have spoken how the tie between a wedded couple was only as binding as their wills, the union able to be dissolved should either one desire it. The blood oath changed everything, Lenneth feeling something like despair as the Aesir acknowledge what they had just born witness to.
The blood oath had formed a connection between them when their blood had mingled. Lenneth had felt the tightening of her aura, a part of her becoming connecting to Lezard's. Had he known that would happen? She couldn't tell, his expression had not betrayed what was happening, though there had been a sense of satisfaction around him.
The silk scarves were cut free of their hands, the blood having ceased it's flow. Already the wounds on their hands had begun to heal, and soon only the faintest of scars would remain. Lezard made no attempt to let go of Lenneth's hand, in fact he began to pull her towards him, closing what little distance had been between them. Rings were being offered up, small bands of plain gold that were slipped onto their fingers.
It was traditional for a groom to kiss his bride, and yet Freya wasn't encouraging Lezard to do that. It mattered not, he didn't need the Goddesses' permission to do what he wanted. Already he was leaning into Lenneth, his smile broadening into a grin, as he spoke in a husky tone. "This is the part of the ceremony I've been looking forward to."
Lenneth was pulled against his chest, her eyes widening as his lips moved to touch hers. She knew it foolish but she still she hoped to get away with just a chaste kiss.
No such luck, his hand was cupping the side of her face, drawing her in to his lips. Lezard kissed her as though he would burn the memory of his lips into her skin, firm and hard against her mouth, tongue probing wanting to dance against hers. She was dismayed when she let out a breathy little gasp, almost squealing like a child as he kissed her, his tongue brushing against hers the moment her mouth opened. Lenneth put her hands on his chest, and tried to push away, but he held onto her, kissing her in a lascivious display before all the Gods and Goddesses in Valhalla.
She tried to pull away, and he followed, almost bending her over backwards in his need to stay connected to her. One hand stayed on her face, fingers stroking her cheek, while the other dropped down to her waist, holding onto the flat of her back, molding her body to his. She found herself growing angry, not liking to be embarrassed in front of her fellow Aesir like this. Her lips curled back in a snarl, and the grazing of her teeth against his lips was all the warning he got. The threat of being bitten seemed to be enough for him to pull back, and he stared into her eyes which were flashing angrily at him.
Lezard had the gall to look embarrassed, as he remembered they had an audience. However he was all confidence and smirks as he pulled away from her. He didn't move far, merely straightening, and holding her to his side. "Have you been appeased?" He asked Freya, sounding a little breathless.
"I suppose so..." Freya's lips were thinly pressed together, the Goddess not liking Lezard's little display of affection.
"Good, then we're off." He let loose laughter, licking his lipstick stained lips clean. "I'm sure you'll understand if we don't stick around for the after wedding festivities." Before anyone could object, the newly wedded couple vanished before their eyes.
To Be Continued...!