Disclaimer: I do not own The Last Remnant.
"I don't like her."
David looks up from the papers at his desk. Rush's stern tone catches him off guard. His dark haired friend stands in the doorway of his office, his arms crossed over his chest.
"I don't like her. She's no good."
David leans back in his chair and sets down his pen. "I seem to recall you had a similar opinion of the last one."
"And I was right, wasn't I?" Rush retorts, refusing to move from his spot in the doorway.
David snorts through his nose, amused. "Indeed, as you are right about this one. The council members did not approve of her either."
He can't help but notice that Rush's posture relaxes immediately. The younger man stands there awkwardly for a moment before finally grunting, "Good," before hurriedly leaving the room. David stares at the spot Rush vacated, his brow furrowed in confusion.
The Warrior's Honor was annoyingly crowded this time. Or at least it seems to Rush before he begins quickly downing pints. He is well into his fourth by the time he hears the chair next to him move out and someone sits down.
"Rush…" he hears Emmy's quiet voice.
"No drinking games Emmy. Not tonight," he mumbles, almost incoherently, as he lifts his pint back to his lips.
She watches him drink, her eyes sad and knowing.
"I just wanted to let you know there's two more scheduled to arrive next week," she says, standing slowly and pushing her chair back in. Rush lowers the pint finally and sets it down with a dull thud. She watches as his head falls low enough to almost rest on the bar.
"Might I suggest staying here tonight, if you're to continue drinking," she whispers, leaning down close to his ear.
"Mmph," is all she receives in reply.
"If you have something to say Rush, please don't hold back," he says aloud as he enters the garden. He knows Rush is around the corner of a flowerbed even though he hasn't seen him yet.
The younger man stands quickly and faces David, his grey eyes piercing. The young lord finds himself having to look away, and begins to fidget with his shirt cuffs.
"Think this one will be it?" Rush finally asks, his voice rough.
"There's no telling yet, Rush. Athlum deserves a worthy Duchess."
Rush's jaw tightens at the words. He has no reply.
"Excuse me Rush, we'll talk later. I'm going to be late to meet her."
David leaves the garden. Rush leaves the castle.
Fragments of the mirror litter the bathroom floor. Rush grips the edge of the sink as he tries to breathe. But no matter how many times he draws in gulps of air, he feels like he's suffocating. He looks in the cracked mirror and sees himself, a mess. When Emmy moves into the edge of a jagged piece, his legs buckle beneath him.
It takes her only a heartbeat to sum up the scene. The sound of glass breaking from the hallway, the desperate look on his face, the wedding announcement now covered in blood on the floor.
She is not the least bit surprised when she kneels down to him to examine his hand and he begins to sob in her arms.
The planning of the ceremony is brief. Athlum demands an heir. The day arrives too quickly.
Rush stares at the bag at the foot of his bed. The flower, long dead but untouched, in the vase by the window. He pulls his cloak tighter around him and throws the bag over his shoulder.
David stops him in the hallway.
"I don't have a choice, Rush."
"You, of all people, should," Rush replies. His voice has no venom nor passion. They stand silent in the hallway, betrayal thick in the air. But Rush doesn't object when David reaches up to cup his cheeks and takes Rush's lips in his own. Rush feels a stabbing pain in his chest as the suffocating feeling returns.
He pulls away and walks out of the castle without looking back. David allows himself a single moment of pain before rebuilding his composure. He walks to his wedding as one walks to a funeral.
Before anyone says anything!...Sacrifice's epilogue is in the hands of my beta. So shush! I do what I want!
This is only a one-shot. Will not be continued.