Hey everyone :)
After finishing the game Tales of Graces f I had so many ideas for stories and my head felt like it was going to explode :D
Even though my absolut favourite pairing is Hubert/Pascal (Because they are awesome^^) I wanted to write a story of Sophie/Richard first. I love the idea of that pairing and after that scene after a battle: Richard are you alright? I am now... I really fell for Richard/Sophie after that speech :D So this will be my first oneshot and after that I will write something for all the other Hubert/Pascal fans out there, so just you wait and see.
I have drawn a fanart for this Oneshot, I hope you like it:
fluffymausi-chan dot deviantart dot com / # / d5en0zo
I hope you enjoy it :)
The secret base
„I have seen him running towards the entrance!"
"No, the backdoor!"
"Let's split up in two groups. One will head for the main entrance and the others to the backdoor."
"What about the catacombs?"
"Don't be foolish, our Majesty would never again go down there."
The voices were rapidly fading away and leaving the hallway in a comfortable silence. A tall young man with blond hair let out a breath he had been holding during the entire conversation while stepping out of his hideout which was nothing more than an expensive curtain in a deep red. The soldiers and ministers were already looking through the whole castle for him. And by whole he meant the entire Barona Castle. Those who don't know it, it's huge and has so many hallways that sometimes he himself had to ask for directions. He! The king of that entire thing!
But right now, the castle seemed to have shrunk in nothing more than a room with no escape. Leaning against the wall he tried to remember a way to flee from that golden cage. Just for a few hours. It was not because of the paperwork or the never ending dull meetings.
No, the reason was different. Dalen had constantly been urging him to accept one of the marriage proposals. There were so many young ladies asking him to marry her. Some of them because of his status, others for his good looks and then there were those who would marry him for both reasons. He did not want a wife. Not right now. He had finally managed to establish peace in Windor and getting rid of all the mutated monsters. He had become a king that the people of Windor liked and he wanted to make sure that the peace would not be destroyed again. A wife would only distract him, or that was what he had been telling himself the whole time.
He felt foolish running away from marriage proposals after telling Hubert a few years ago, that he had to face the problem head on. Yeah, foolish.
Sighing again he continued to walk along the hallway, always prepared to hide when necessary. Who knew where the guards would be right now. While sneaking around in HIS home, he felt like a little boy once again. But there was a difference. He would not go down to the catacombs again; there he had to agree with his guards. After that horrible memory years ago when Cedric poisoned him and let him die there and after the whole fight with Lambda, he never wanted to go down there again. While travelling with Asbel and the others he had reluctantly followed them there keeping his thoughts and fears for himself. But right now, he would not go there. He had to think for another place and fast.
Come on Richard! There has to be a safe base…. Something secret….a secret base…. Right!
His eyes lit up with an adventurous smile while scanning the hallways for one particular door. His search was long because his hide-and-seek-play had led him far away from his now desired destination. A few times he had to hide behind curtains, in a wardrobe and outside a window gripping the windowsill for dear life. All this mess just to have a few hours to clear his head from all the propositions and political papermonsters! He wished Asbel or some of his other friends would visit him and give him an alibi but they knew nothing about the whole marriage-stuff which he wanted to avoid. Sometimes he was so tired that he nearly gave in to Dalen and the other ministers just so that they would stop bothering him, but somehow he had always managed to stall them by using ridiculous excuses. He remembered that he once said that he did not want to think about a future wife because full moon was to come in a few days. How had his tired mind come up with such a lame excuse?
With a smirk over his silly actions he finally made his destination out. The door looked like all the other hundred in the castle but it was never opened, just once a year when the maids were cleaning the whole building, which took months by the way. Listening for footsteps, Richard waited for a good moment to make a run for it. His heartbeat was loud in his ears and he tried to calm himself and get rid of that playful smile. This was a serious matter and maybe a little funny… Just a little.
The coast was clear and the young king run to the door and opened it with one swift moment to close it right behind him in a graceful manner. Finally! Sighing he did his hair and his clothes which were a little ruffled from the entire hiding game.
Startled he looked up from his clothes to come across a pair of surprised violet eyes.
Both were staring as if they had never met each other. He was still standing right next to the door while she was sitting in between a lot of boxes, which obviously were the secret base he had shown her a few years ago. Richard was the first to regain his composure. Even though he was very surprised to see her here, he was also very pleased. He had not seen her in a long time.
"It's been a long time Sophie."
The warm smile was not forced in the least. She had not changed as expected and while he was studying her, she did the same with her innocent big eyes. She was still wearing the same clothes and her violet hair was in two pigtails. He had to lie by saying she was not gorgeous.
"You have changed?"
Her voice pulled him back in reality and he had to suppress a laugh.
"Is that a good or a bad thing Sophie?"
She cocked her head to the side in a questioning manner, but he just shook his head while stepping to the ring of boxes, but before he could enter the castle of boxes, Sophie's cry startled him.
Richard instantly stopped dead in his tracks and even tried to breath as shallow as possible.
"What is it, Sophie?"
The humanoid looked very serious and he was beginning to worry when she answered him.
"What's the password?"
How on earth was he supposed to know the password for the secret base? He could try sweet-talking her or saying that he did not need the password because the whole castle belonged to him, but after a second look in her serious face he knew that Asbel and Cheria had taught her how to be stubborn. They were after all masters in that matter.
Straightening his shoulders, he put a hand under his chin to think for a word that could be the password. Sophie was still sitting on the exact same spot waiting for him to give her the correct answer. Minutes passed and Richard was leaning against the boxes while reflecting a password. From the corner of his eyes he mustered his friend when he suddenly came up with an answer.
"I know it."
Sophie nodded and waited.
There was a moment of silence when she finally nodded with a bright smile. Richard once again shook his head before entering the "base" and kneeling down in front of her to pull her in a tight hug. She was stiff and did not know how to act but it was okay. Richard released her with a warm smile before taking place next to her.
"So what brought you here? Did something happen at home?"
Although he did not want to show it, he was a little worried that she came here and even a little disappointed that she did not told him so. He would have had an excuse to flee those ministers and Dalen and did not have to hide like a little child. It was her voice, which once again brought him back from his solemn thoughts.
"No, everything is okay. It's just that Asbel is worried about everything and constantly arguing. Cheria says that he is like this because she is pregnant, but I don't understand it. She told me to visit you so that she could have a talk with him but I thought you would have to much work and so I came here."
She hugged her knees tightly to her chest and it nearly broke his heart to see her so sad. He kept silent for a few minutes to properly choose his next words. His voice was calm and he tried to lift her mood with a friendly smile.
"Sophie, there is no need for you to worry or be depressed."
She looked up.
"It's normal for Asbel to worry about his family. He wants you, Cheria and the baby to live a happy life. He wants to protect you and make sure you have everything you need in the future. Every father goes through such a moment in his life."
His eyes were wandering to the ceiling of the room while talking to her. Unconsciously he had begun to remember his father and all the times he had nearly crushed Richard with his attention and his protection. Only after a few years he had finally understand why his father had become like this. Richard had been his only son and his only family after the death of his wife. Slowly shaking his head to get rid of the sad memories he turned his gaze once again to the young woman next to him.
"So just give him a little space and have patience. He will be back to normal in a few weeks and if that is not the case I will have a talk with him."
Sophie was silent for a few minutes and staring at the floor before talking again.
Richard could only smile when he saw her pointing her pinky finger in his direction.
"Promise!", he answered while giving her his pinkyfinger and sealing their promise.
Again there was comfortable silence between the two friends. Richard sighed happily while closing his eyes and breathing in deeply the scent of freedom if only for a few minutes. Sophie was shifting next to him.
"Richard? Why are you here? Didn't you say that because you are an adult you could no longer come here?"
He opened his eyes and gave her a mock shocked look.
"So that means you don't want me here?"
Sophie immediately wanted to disagree but he stopped her by laughing quietly. She looked at him with a puzzled expression which only made him laugh more. It was kind of refreshing to laugh again after all those serious months of reign. He had missed to laugh freely and feel at ease.
"Thank you Sophie."
She looked seriously confused.
"I have not laughed in a long time. I am happy that I met you here."
"Why have you not been laughing?"
"There was too much work which was not very funny and only tiring and not to forget about all the ministers who pester me with every little thing. It's really hard to have a little spare time, so I had to hide from them and came here."
Richard thought about telling her about the marriage proposals but decided against it. She might not understand it. There were still things she did not know about humans and society. He did not want to confuse her and give her a false image of marriage. She should believe in a marriage of love.
"I did not know that you have been sad. Sorry Richard."
She looked depressed and he hurried to get rid of that sour expression on her face.
"No need to feel bad Sophie. I have a duty to rule this country and the job is tiring and dull, but I love my country and therefore you should not feel sorry for me."
He nodded and looked around the room.
"So what did you want to do in here? I don't see any apples and such."
Sophie stood up and went to a barrel to take some things out of it. He followed her with curious eyes when she came back with a blanket, a book and a small bag in her hands.
"So you have already planned everything for your little sojourn?"
"I meant your stay. So what do we have here?"
She gave him the book and the bag while taking her seat next to him once again and putting the blanket over them both. Richard gave her a confused look but she just gave him a joyful smile which made his heart ache slightly in his chest. It was not a bad feeling but more like a happy sting. He did not know how to describe it better.
"So you have chosen the book: 'Adventures of the Robot Max'? This book seems very familiar; I think I have seen it once in my library?"
He gave her a questioning glance with a smirk but she looked away, even though he had seen her blush.
"Never mind. And in the bag we have… hm a thermos bottle and cookies. Nice choice Sophie."
She gave him a bright smile and took the book from his hands.
"I want to start reading."
He nodded while pouring her a cup of hot chocolate. She really was a sweet tooth.
So they sat there taking turns at reading while drinking hot chocolate and eating cookies which were obviously from Cheria.
Minutes turned in hours as time flew by. Richard closed his eyes to listen to her voice. He felt comfortable and completely at ease. It was exactly this which he had missed all the time. The impartiality. He felt young once again and it made his heart swell with joy. Sophie shifted next to him and he took the book to continue their lecture. He concentrated on the story of the robot that fought evil and all that for the sake of one human girl. It was a beautiful novel that had his attention since he had known how to read. It was a piece of childhood. In the dim light of the candle, they had found in one of the boxes, he read to the young woman next to him, when suddenly he felt a strange weight on his right shoulder. Looking down he saw that Sophie had fallen asleep. He did not know how late it was and if the soldiers had already contacted Fendel and Stratha because of his absence but he felt too tired to move from his spot. With great care he took the blanket and put it around her shoulder before pulling her closer to him.
Breathing her scent he closed his eyes. It was the first time in a long that he felt free and he thanked Sophie for showing up. The warmth that was radiating from her lulled him in a dreamless sleep.
"Sleep well Sophie…"
His soft whisper made her smile in her slumber.
The door of the room opened and someone came in. Dalen mustered the scene in front of him only to shake his head with a smile before telling the guards that everything was okay and that the king was safe. Maybe he had been too hard to the young king and after witnessing the picture a few seconds ago he might understand why Richard had avoided all the marriage proposals for so long. But that could wait till tomorrow.
So what do you think of the little Oneshot? :)
I hope you like it and that you will be looking forward to more Oneshots for that fandom, because honestly there are too few stories about that awesome game!
Have a nice day and thank you for giving my story a try.
Your FMC :) (^-^)/