Crystal's Notes: There's a lightbulb flickering on and off above my bed…I think it's symbolizing my creativity levels as of late.
ANYWAY. So…now we have our final chapter of FMtY. X3 A bit…sad. But yet, it's not the end. MCS, which is connected to this, is still going (and will be…for a while; can't believe I chained myself to a monster of a project like that—what was I THINKING?). So, I'm not going to miss the work too much…
But I will miss the fun some of the chapters were to write. X3
I hope you all have enjoyed, and I hope you continue to enjoy, and I hope you feel all of the affection and love I have for you all as I now pass on to you—MY OWN gift from me to you—the final chapter of "From Me to You."
Please have a wonderful day.
Really, there had been nothing to worry about. He was a province—and his people were all right, saved and reunited with the Romans and their culture. So, naturally, he was going to be okay.
Everything was going to be okay.
Two days had passed since the little province had been rescued. Gaul had left right away to return home after the danger had passed—not that Britannia missed him at all, no, he was glad the brat was gone and he didn't have to worry about feeling guilty about him anymore—but the Roman Empire himself had stayed for a while. There were things to catch up with his most cumbersome little province, after all, because being an immortal person or not—two hundred years is a mighty long time.
But even after reminiscing and laughing and crying at the sweet taste of memories, life goes on.
And after all the time and adventures he had experienced with his ruling empire, Britannia knew this fact both wonderfully and awfully well.
"You are going to leave again, soon."
Rome looked up from where he was standing, hunched over, gathering his things. His gaze locked onto the boy in bed, thin blanket on his lap as he sat up. There was a bandage around his neck—the only evidence from the rescue that had taken place two nights ago. By all other measures, he was completely fine, both physically, mentally and spiritually. Which…was why he was leaving. Why it was time to go.
His job here was done.
But that didn't make it easy to go. And sometimes, Rome reminded himself with a sigh as he walked over to the small blonde's bedside and sitting down on the large pillow that made up Britannia's bed, being an empire that ruled over so many little, scattered provinces was just…awful.
Especially when you cared for each and every one of them.
"Yes," the tall brunette finally responded, looking over to Britannia with his eyes full of understanding and apology. "I have to return home."
Britannia nodded to himself, glancing down at his hands. There was a long silence for a moment as he slowly mulled this over in his mind, making sure to take this better—and more honestly—than he did last time. After a great pause, he found the words to speak up again, clearing his throat quietly so he could be heard while mumbling, "I want to say…what didn't get to say it before…which is thank you…Rome."
But he wasn't done yet. Just as the older one was opening his mouth to brush if off—an instinctive response, such as swatting mindlessly at a buzzing gnat—Britannia interrupted and continued. "Not…just for saving me." Green eyes hesitantly lifted to blue. "But for…everything else, too."
For what the words implied, the corner of Rome's mouth twitched upward into a fond smile. "I did what I had to, meus tener unus. It was my duty as your empire." With a sudden chuckle, he drew his knuckles against the younger one's cheek lightly, a pretending punch. "And who knows? Maybe someday you will be doing the same thing, teaching little provinces of your own, ruling a several vast lands far from home."
That made Britannia smile. "Maybe. But if that is the case, then I definitely will not start acquainting myself with my provinces with something like a bath. I somehow still do not think that was the wisest choice."
Rome tilted his head back and laughed a good, great, hearty deal. After his good bout of laughing had ceased, he shook his head and wagged a finger between them, as if they were cohorts—secret persons of an underground society. "No. I am afraid something like that only happens once in a world's lifetime. After all, two nations like us do not always meet up in the long timeline, and not always under such absurd circumstances."
Britannia cracked a smirk at him. "I suppose that means we are both abnormal."
"Weird, I would say."
"Hm. Yes, I like that word better, too."
Silence enveloped them after that, soft and sweet like fleece. Britannia took a breath, changing the subject with a gentle shrug, "So when do you leave?"
Britannia nodded, looking away briefly as silence claimed the conversation once more. But then, suddenly, a peculiar observation struck him and he smirked, turning back to his ruling empire. "You must like staving off important details until the last second. You didn't give me a fair warning last time when you left, either."
The Roman Empire, giving a sheepish grin, leaned back as he scratched the nape of his own neck in mild embarrassment. "I…am not good with farewells. Nor with…seeing the disappointed face of a child." With a smirk his blue eyes met the green fields of his small province's. "So I guess I never had the heart."
"Yet you are the Roman Empire, who squashes territories and armies under his sandal without breaking a sweat." Britannia raised an eyebrow at him, studied his mentor, and then chuckled, suddenly amused. "Figures. You are weird. And yet somehow, despite your strength, it makes sense that it should be the face of a child that gets through to you, above all other evils in this world."
"That is because a child accepts gifts."
Britannia blinked blankly at him, suddenly and terribly confused. "…what?" Gifts? Children? What did that have to do with the Roman Empire being soft? Indeed, the ideas seemed completely irrelevant—not to mention a bit…creepy.
But Rome merely laughed. "Here is what I mean. It is that with a child, I can leave an imprint. I can give to them all that I know—all my knowledge, all my stories—I can pass on my legacy, and hope that it arms them for their own future. With an enemy, I can only make him fear me." Blue eyes paused a moment, focused on something else than the bedcloth they were staring at. "And if there is one thing over the many, many years I have been alive…it is that it is much better to be loved and admired, than feared and respected."
Britannia watched him carefully. After a long pause of simply studying his friend, he asked, "Is that another 'gift' to me?"
Rome smirked at him, finally looking at the boy again, his thoughts having returned to the current day. "Yes, I suppose so. Another gift…from me to you. I hope what meager wisdom I pass on to you will do you well one day."
Britannia nodded confidently, no doubt in his green eyes. Only fondness. "I think it will."
There was another moment of long silence, before Rome finally reached out and placed his hand upon the top of Britannia's crazy blonde locks—much like he had after the scary incident in the woods, in which they had apologized, talked, and somehow…accepted one another.
Which…that reminded Britannia of something. Something the two had said to one another at the bath house—which seemed like ages ago.
"You have my word and trust, now, by the way."
Rome looked surprised, blinking at the boy. Apparently, the much older nation didn't seem to recall the conversation, and gazed confusedly at his charge. "What?"
Britannia let a quiet laugh escape him. He couldn't help it now—he was getting a bit sentimental. He could feel it, that mushy softness growing in his chest and soaking in all the bittersweet feelings within him. Who would have thought that a boy so set on fighting off the Roman Empire would suddenly…be so sad to part with him?
Two hundred years can change a person.
And as he then lurched forward and outright hugged Rome's middle, he couldn't help his own comment, either. "Do not worry about it. Do not worry about it at all. Think of it as…my own gift. From me to you, too…meus tener unus."
My dear one.
Ending Notes: Well…it's done. xD My series of ficlets have come to an end. About time, too…so now I can hunker down on all my other stories.
Thank you SO much for all of you who embarked with me on this uncertain journey of ficlet-writing with a very unusual duo for main characters! xD Honestly, I really, really appreciate it. Please enjoy cyber-cookies, punch, and nuggets complimentary of moi. Because I love you all; you've all been too kind to me.
And stay tuned, because the adventures don't stop here. : ) There's always, as usual, more to come~.