Chapter 12: Halloween Party: Revelations!
Rita cracked the door open, not letting her serious expression drop as she gestured for her guests to enter. Flynn kindly greeted the witch and gave a slight bow as he stepped through the door. The witch just smirked a little as the commandant passed; her first thought was that he was dressed as the unfortunate victim of an inexperienced doctor before realizing that he was supposed to be a mummy.
'Wow, what a crappy costume.'
Raven soon followed, but rather than being courteous, he just halted once he saw the girl. The captain grinned inappropriately and scratched his chin in thought; he then sealed his fate by releasing a sharp whistle. The witch promptly slammed a fist into his stomach, without saying a word or even adjusting her expression.
The captain just stumbled into the door still reeling from the punch. Things were still very awkward and silent; Rita was still very much pissed of at Raven for his lack of faith in her. Flynn was really just Estelle's friend, not hers, so she had nothing to say to him either. Rita had just managed to show the guests to the living room before another knock came at the door.
With a sigh, the witch again walked once again to her foyer.
'I don't like being a host.'
This time, she let out a slight smile as she saw who was at the door. She opened it again. "Come on in, guys."
Yuri stepped into the house quickly.
"Didn't expect you to go so all out on a costume. Flynn is in the living room, you should really show him that."
The man just laughed and started off to show his best friend his clever costume. Karol stepped in next, just wearing a standard knights uniform.
"You on the other hand, didn't put much effort in at all."
Karol stood still at the jab for a moment. "Well Yuri had Judith help him, Nan refused to do anything."
Rita lost her smirk, suddenly shifting to an apologetic look. "Look, I'm really sorry–,"
"Don't worry about it too much." He glanced around for a moment. "We haven't told anyone, by the way."
Rita smiled appreciatively at the young man. "Thanks, we appreciate it."
Karol just nodded silently and continued into the house. The gap he left was quickly filled by Judith, who had a crooked smirk as she entered. Rita was simply flabbergasted as she stared at the older woman's costume.
"Um, where are the rest of your clothes?"
Judith struck a sexy pose quickly, showing off the simple white bikini she was wearing. Rita had just never really gotten used to the way Judith was just willing to show off her sizable assets. Even with her own growth, she could never even begin to think of doing something like that.
"You don't like it? It seemed to attract plenty of attention walking here."
"I'll bet. That's just not really a costume."
The krityan's pointed ears suddenly pointed downwards and her mouth formed a pout. "I was told that on Halloween women wore clothes that were more revealing than they normally would wear– you certainly are."
The witch blushed a little and crossed her arms in a failed attempt to her hide her chest.
'I suppose this is really the limit of things that are more revealing than her normal clothes. I should be glad she had the sense to not show up naked.'
"Alright, just come inside before you start a riot."
With now perked up ears, the krityan sauntered into the building with a confident smile.
Rita approached the living room and could hear laughter from most of its occupants. She certainly knew why as she crossed the threshold into the room– Yuri was posing in his very well made costume.
His hair was chopped short and spiked up, and he had managed to acquire a set of matching knight's armor and a light blue tabard. He looked just like a black haired Flynn– but the commandant was not amused.
"Yuri, that is a little ridiculous. Did you really cut your hair just for a few laughs?"
"No, its been short for awhile. Got singed off by a monster a couple weeks back."
"Alright, I'm just going to ignore that costume for the rest of the night." Flynn deadpanned.
Yuri gave a slight chuckle before moving to sit down and chat with the group. Rita leaned up against a wall by the door, next to a stiff looking Droite. Everyone started to share stories about what they have been doing. When another knock came at the door, Droite shoved off the wall quickly to answer it before Rita could.
The witch sat and listened to how Yuri had defended a small village from a large, fire-breathing dragon. Flynn nodded along solemnly, but Rita was sure he was happy that his childhood friend was making good use of the pardons he had gotten for his former crimes. She was distracted by some childish giggling as Alyssa strode into the room confidently, despite wearing what Rita deemed a very embarrassing costume.
'Subtle Estelle, really, really subtle. At least Alyssa definitely knows Estelle is trying to get them together.'
The blonde had her hair in it's usual ponytail, but had a headband with white cat ears. Her outfit was in perfect contrast to Droite's, a pristine and overly snug white tank top, with a matching white miniskirt.
Alyssa scanned the room a little, suddenly ceasing the movement of her eyes when they reached Judith, who didn't notice because she was chatting with Flynn. Rita chuckled as the scientists jaw quite literally dropped. When Droite caught up, she just planted a light elbow into the blonde's side– the scientist quickly snapped her jaw shut, rubbing the back of head and smiling at a slightly pouting Droite. The knight glanced over quickly and blushed a little before they started talking excitedly.
'I can only assume it's something perverted, the way those two are.' Rita shut her eyes for a little. 'We're probably going to get a proposition for a four-way before Estelle and I even–,' Sensing her thoughts going in a distinctly bad direction, she shook her head and opened her eyes again.
Her breath caught and her jaw dropped a little when she saw what had just entered the room.
Estelle stood with her usual regal posture, her hair smooth and radiant. She was wearing a thin and elegant white dress, which was slightly loose but still revealed the gentle curve of her hips and legs. The dress fell all the way to the floor, with a thin but high slit revealing a long triangle of leg and a high-heeled shoe. It was held up by a pair of thin straps over otherwise exposed shoulders. Floating behind her back were a pair of angel wings that gave off a gentle glow, accenting the halo above her head.
'She looks so– beautiful? Radiant? Wonderful? Just– perfect. Like a real angel.'
Her face turned red a little before she remembered to start breathing.
'Okay, literally breathtaking. That's just ridiculous.'
The witch smiled again when she spotted the silver and emerald necklace she had given the girl, resting gently above her– Rita blushed again and shut her eyes to keep them from drifting somewhere inappropriate.
'Yeah, I'm not gonna make it through tonight.'
The princess finally saw her love, who was nestled in the side of the room, silently leaning against the wall. Estelle smiled widely at her wonderful witch, dressed perfectly for the part. She gently started to admire all the natural beauty of the girl who had captured her heart so wholly. All the anxiousness that had built in her mind over revealing herself to their friends dissipated, replaced by a subtle longing in her chest directed towards the gorgeous girl. This is who she is, and there would be no changing it.
Rita blushed harder when she found that the princess was staring at her body, clearly enjoying the game of dress-up the party planning had lead too. She broke the gaze again, very embarrassed, and her tension continued to grow. After a few moments, she returned her eyes, hoping that Estelle had decided she had gotten her fill. The princess's eyes just raised, meeting hers and suddenly flashing a gloriously exuberant grin.
'It's damn embarrassing, but I should dress like this more often if she's going to smile at me like that.'
The pink-haired angel started to approach her slowly and steadily. It was the same elegant walk she always had, but with the draping of the dress, she seemed to be gently gliding towards her.
She was cut off quickly as Flynn approached and quickly took a bow so deep it required him to place a knee on the ground.
"Princess, your costume looks great."
Estelle was a little shocked at the sudden interruption, her focus had been so singular on the woman she loved. "Oh, um, thank you Flynn."
Raven interrupted with another inappropriate whistle;. Rita pushed herself away from the wall to plant another punch into the captain's gut. The princess giggled before turning to greet everyone with a bow.
"Thank you so much for coming everyone. It means a lot to me that everyone is here. I have something really important to tell all of you– but I guess that it can wait until after dinner."
Estelle turned at smiled at Droite.
"I've already finished cooking everything and setting the table. We we're just waiting for everyone to arrive," the knight answered dutifully.
"Excellent. Thank you Droite."
Estelle found the choice of seating quite unfortunate.
'Oh darn it. I wanted to sit next to Rita. She looked so gorgeous. I haven't really gotten to talk to her– or ask what she thinks of my costume.'
She glanced around the rectangular table. She was seated at the head of the table: to her left was Yuri, next to a severely under-dressed Judith, her witch, then Alyssa; to her right was Flynn, Raven, Karol, and then Droite.
They sat silently for a few moments as they took in the incredibly fancy and beautiful dinner that rested on the table. Everything was as near to perfect as it could be. The princess glanced over and saw that Rita's jaw was slightly dropped.
"So your sister burns off her eyebrows mixing three chemicals, and you can do things like this?" The witch quickly questioned with a sense of astonishment.
Droite laughed a little, glancing over at Alyssa with a blush. "Yeah, I've always been a really good cook; it's just one of my many talents I guess. Well, dig in everyone."
The conversation stayed halted for a long while as everyone enjoyed the fantastic dinner. Having finished eating her fill first, Alyssa looked up at the green-haired knight sitting across from her and smirked.
"I guess your cooking skills are yet another thing that makes that voice more tolerable."
The other guests were a little taken aback, but Droite just let out a girlish giggle. Everyone's jaws dropped– they expected a more violent reaction.
"Oh, there's so much more, but you'll find that out later."
The members of Brave Vesperia we're well aware of Rita's preferences at this point, so they naturally assumed some of her friends would be the same. Of course, Flynn was confused as he gazed around the table– everyone was blushing and trying to ignore what was going on at the end of the table, aside from Judith, who had a slight smirk and her ears pointed downward.
Estelle took careful note of everyone at the table, having actually asked Droite to try and flirt obviously at the party. She figured it would kill two birds with one stone– making Alyssa and Droite a bit closer and allowing her to gauge everyone's reactions.
She was actually quite happy, no one seemed disgusted or put off, although Flynn just looked confused.
The gentle clattering of forks led to more conversation around the table. Estelle closed her eyes and took a few deep breaths.
'I can do this. I can do this. I can do this.'
"Are you okay, Lady Estellise?"
The princess tried to form her normal smile, but it clearly looked a little forced. "I'm alright, just– trying to get myself prepared."
Flynn looked at her concerned.
'I really wish Rita was sitting there, I'm getting so nervous again. I could use some support.'
Once again Estelle glanced over and saw her beautiful girlfriend, and tried to build up her resolve again. After a few moments, she tentatively stood. "Okay, everyone. About what I was going to tell you; I just wanted to say that– well…"
Everyone was watching the princess now, and the nervous feeling in her stomach just expanded.
"… you see, recently I became– no, I realized that…"
Estelle was starting to stumble over her words more and more until she hit her breaking point, excusing herself and leaving for the hallway. Rita let out a concerned sigh, stood, and followed the princess into the hall.
Flynn stood to follow as well, but he was quickly stopped by the one person in the room he didn't know.
"You shouldn't go out there. Rita can handle it."
Flynn stared at the blonde woman. "I should really check. It is my responsibility as the leader of the knights to–,"
"I'm sure it's something personal, calm down," Judith interjected.
The commandant ceased moving, but still glanced towards the hall. Raven placed a hand on his shoulder.
"There's nothing to worry about. I actually want to see how Rita handles this." He spoke with calm resolve, in his captain voice. Flynn realized everyone must have some idea of what was happening and sat back down.
Rita finally caught up to the angel once again on the back porch, gazing up at the starry sky above. The witch just watched amazed– Estelle looked even more radiant beneath the stars and full moon. She calmly approached the girl from behind.
Estelle turned and smiled at Rita momentarily, before turning her eyes skyward again. "A little bit. I mean, I don't even think anyone will really disapprove, but– it's just so difficult to say."
The witch just pensively joined the princess's stargazing.
"I've never really had to do this. I– I guess there really isn't any advice I can give you."
"I understand, this is just something I have to do."
Rita nodded, and placed a hand gently on Estelle's back. "I want you to know that I don't care what they think. We can always get new friends, but you are irreplaceable to me."
"I know. I want to be with you more than I have ever wanted anything. But I do not want to lose my friends either. It's just difficult, why is it that only people like us deal with problems like these?"
Rita turned and noticed the gentle stream of tears that the princess was now releasing. The angel costume had magnified her radiance, and now made her sadness all the more heartbreaking.
"It's not just us. Normal people sometimes have their friends disapprove of their love."
The princess's head dropped more. "Normal people?"
The witch grimaced a little.
"I suppose we are just weird huh?"
Rita closed her eyes, before shaking her head. "I like to think of it as unique. We're not weird, but special."
Estelle turned to stare directly into Rita's eyes. The witch just responded with a slight, gentle smile.
"It takes a special sort of person to love so freely. To be strong enough go for what we actually want and to be honest with who we are."
The princess had stopped crying.
"There's something else I want you to know. I know that you're looking for acceptance from them. For them to just not dislike who you are. But I'm am so incredibly happy that you're this way. That you can love a woman, and that you can love me."
Rita reached up and wiped the remnants of tears from Estelle's face. The pink angel smiled at her, and shifted so they were directly facing each other. Rita embraced the girl, but quickly felt that something was a little off.
"Well this is weird, those heels make you taller than me, huh?" Rita asked, a little embarrassed.
"Just a little. It is a different feeling. Just put your hands on the back of my neck." Estelle answered with a slight chuckle.
Rita nodded and moved her arms in compliance. She noted how to herself how strange it felt to swap their normal stance. Estelle dropped her hands down to the small of Rita's back, where Rita would normally keep her hands.
Gazing up into Estelle's eyes, Rita sighed dreamily. "I wanted to tell you earlier, you look absolutely amazing."
Estelle blushed a little. "Thank you. I did think this was a cute outfit."
"Cute!? It's not cute, its... radiant! Breathtaking! Beautiful! Stunning! Se–," Rita trailed off, suddenly become nervous and blushing under Estelle's intense gaze.
"What was that last one?" Estelle asked, smiling.
"Uh, I s-said you looked s-stunning."
The radiant angel just chuckled at the nervous witch. "Humph. I thought I was going to get that third sexy."
The princess pouted quickly. Rita flushed completely and broke eye contact. "O-Okay fine. I was going to say that you look sexy."
The princess chuckled slightly, then bit her lip. Estelle had talked with Alyssa a bit on the way over. The princess had found out over the course of the journey that it was easier to learn from another person than to learn just from books– she ended up with some advice that seemed very good.
Estelle closed her eyes and with a content smile leaned in close to Rita. "I think you look incredible tonight," the princess whispered slowly into Rita's ear, letting a bit more breath escape with each syllable than she normally would.
"T-Thanks." The witch's flush was threatening to encroach her entire body as Estelle's breath flitted over her ear. She released a sudden gasp when Estelle planted a kiss on her neck. The princess then placed her hand on Rita's cheek and gently turned her to engage in a deep kiss on the lips.
With the stars and the full moon as a back drop, the scene could only be described as one of picturesque beauty, a perfect example of contrast. A radiant angel and a dark witch, engaged in a romantic kiss beneath a bright night sky.
With a contented sigh, Estelle pulled back with a wide smile.
"Let's go back inside. I think I'm ready to tell them."
"Every time we kiss, I feel more certain that you're the only person for me. I know exactly how I feel, so I should really just be honest with them."
Rita flushed and nodded as the princess firmly gripped her hand and pulled her back inside. The princess didn't release her grip when they reentered the dining room.
Estelle stood once again at the head of the table, with a seriously nervous expression, but Rita was by her side this time. The witch had one gentle hand placed on the angel's upper back, and the other still entwined and trying to provide support. The reassuring contact gave Estelle the confidence she needed.
"Everyone, I invited you all here to tell you– that I'm attracted to woman, and in love with Rita."
A/N: Well here is chapter 12. It may be really obvious, but I think it's adorable when couples dress in contrast, and it's awesome that the two of them essentially had contrasting unlockable in-game costumes (which I wish there was more fan art of). Essentially, there were 2 reasons I had wanted Halloween as the setting, and this is the first.