Royal Pain
By: Manna


…-…-…

"You must stop squirming, my lord," she said quite sternly as her fingers worked to knot a bandage wrapped around his arm.

She looked cute no matter what she did, he decided. Her thin eyebrows were drawn together quite seriously, and her lips pursed together as she worked, seemingly lost in thought. His lip twitching in amusement, he shifted in place, moving his arm away from her.

"Ah! Lord Eliwood!" she exclaimed, getting more frustrated by his inability to stay still. Her cheeks darkened in a blush as she managed to catch hold of his arm again. "There are far too many wounded for our clerics to handle this evening, and that's the only reason Lady Priscilla left me to this simple task." She waggled a finger at him and shook her head before pointing down to the half unwrapped bandage. "Do you see what you've done, milord? Now I must start all over again! Why won't you stay still?"

His lips twitched again and his eyes fairly danced with amusement. When she had nearly tied the knot off again, he slowly began to move his hand away.

"Oh no you don't!" Ninian gasped, gripping his arm as tightly as she possibly could.

The strength of her grip surprised him, and he let out a chuckle as she fought him for control of his arm.

"A-ha!" With the bandage finished, she triumphantly stood, hands on her hips, a pleased expression covering her pale face. If he didn't know better, he would think she was gloating.

"I let you win that one," he said solemnly, but couldn't push back a smile before she noticed it.

"Of course you did, Lord Eliwood." Her tone reminded him of his mother when she used to speak to him about crazy adventures he'd pretended to have.

Blinking down at his bandage, he let a frown pass over his lips. "It's all bunched up here," he said.

"What?" She leaned in closer and took his arm from him gently. "I thought it looked fine when…" Her voice trailed off when she noticed the way his mouth was twitching, and she flushed before slapping his shoulder in a playfully embarrassed manner. "Milord…"

"What?" he asked, smiling brightly. "There is a bulge."

"But it's hardly noticeable," she said, shaking her head. She knew it was just a way for him to spend more time with her—pretending to be nitpicky of all things! It wouldn't work forever, though. The next time he came into the healer's tent with a scratch when Priscilla and Serra were already swamped with work, Ninian decided that she would be conveniently elsewhere…likely picking flowers with Florina. "I can always count on you, Lord Eliwood," she said, her own lips twitching as she untied his bandage with her long, thin fingers, and unwound it just far enough to fix the itsy bitsy almost unnoticeable bulge in the linen.

With his free hand, he touched her cheek. "When you can count on nothing else," he said softly, "you know you can count on me."

"Oh, yes." Tying off the knot with more force than necessary, she blinked at him innocently and got to her feet. "I can count on you always. To be a royal pain, that is."

He blinked in shock for only a moment before getting to his own feet, reaching for her with his un-bandaged hand.

She giggled and sidestepped just out of his reach, fingers clutching the sides of her dress as she hurriedly made her way out of the healer's tent.

"Hey!" he called after, clumsily grabbing his shirt with one hand, and then his sword. "That isn't very nice!" But he was grinning as he chased her—around Sain's startled mare and a bewildered Lyndis. Finally, at the edge of the encampment, he caught up to her.

She took a step back slowly, one at a time as he approached, and looked up at the blue sky overhead. "Oh, Lord Eliwood… It's such a lovely day, isn't it?"

Gently, he took both her hands in one of his and pulled her toward him. She complied, giggling quietly as she did so. "The weather is lovely," he answered, "but not as lovely as something else I see…"

"Oh, and what is what?" she asked.

He pointed behind him. "Jaffar."

Her eyes narrowed and she blew out a puff of air before crossing her arms and turning away from him, unable to completely erase the grin that was on her face.

"Hey, hey," he said, walking up behind her and wrapping his arms around her shoulders loosely. "To be fair," he murmured in her ear, "little Nino fashioned a daisy chain for his head."

"Mm, I am certain he looks quite fetching." Tilting her head to the side, she shivered as he pressed a kiss against her neck. "But why are you not with him, then?" she asked.

"I have better things to do," he said, spinning her around before he leaned forward, tilting his head to kiss her.

But his lips hit air as she dodged him, slipping under his arm.

"Hey," he protested, trying to look hurt. "Why won't you stay still?"

"Hmm," she said thoughtfully, eyes wide as she tapped her chin with a forefinger. "That sounds vaguely familiar."


…-…-…

Author Notes:

Written for Penandpaper71 for the Microfic/Drabble Meme (Christmas Edition!) on Livejournal. I couldn't resist writing some serious sap. Also, I'll admit I like to see Ninian be a little playful sometimes.