Title: Are You My Trouble?
Series: FE 10 post game.
Summary: After Heather goes 'shopping,' Nephenee gets dragged along for the ride in the aftermath.
Author's note: OTP 30 days - shopping. / fic_promptly: any, any, trouble / glomp = cottoncandy_bingo.
Title comes from Changes by Stars.
She'd been running the list through her head over and over as she walked the rest of the way. Pick the payment from the local shop for the milk they brought in, and...something else. Darn, she'd already forgotten. Was it flour? No, they'd just gotten that... At least it was a pretty warm day, and without her armor weighing her down, the walk was easy, and rather enjoyable. She hadn't had time to just leisurely walk in a long while. She'd get an earful when she got back, so there was no use to hurry it along.
It wasn't a long trip to the local store, maybe a mile or so, and she had no waiting line in front. She didn't bother making small talk with the person behind the counter, as other people were coming in just behind her, and instead just took the payment. Might as well get it all at once when she got the list again. After that was done, it was back on the road. There weren't a lot of people out today, but a fancier set was down the way, with the new traveling shopkeepers that had set up in the middle of town. She was walking down, just trying to remember when she heard something. She turned around, only to be caught up as arms wrapped tight around her.
"Nephenee! I have something just for you!"
Before she could react, Nephenee found herself being twirled about until she was facing Heather. Heather was a one-woman tornado. Except she didn't mess up houses—other than the stealing—and was a lot nicer to look at. Nephenee felt a little dizzy just trying to keep up with her.
"Er, didja? That's nice..."
Heather pulled out something with flourish, and slipped it on Nephenee's hand before she could even react. The gift in question was a pretty bangle with a blue jewel embedded in it. Nephenee had never worn jewelry. They were expensive, and would just get dirty back on the farm, and get broken or stolen on the battlefield. And, well, no one was ever giving her any. None of the boys ever had crushes on her. Nobody had even stopped by to say she was pretty until Heather came around. Despite herself, despite that she always told herself it didn't matter if none of them ever thought she was pretty, Nephenee felt a warmth growing in her chest.
Heather always made her feel pretty, always took care of her back when they were fighting together. Sometimes she'd find herself almost carried away by this, like the whole world would get brighter and she'd have this funny little dizziness and warmth. But then she would remember that Heather was just like that. She said everyone was beautiful, she was a skittish flirt.
"Do you like it?" Heather said.
"It's very pretty," Nephenee said.
And it was lovely, being all sparkly in the sun, and looking surprisingly good on her wrist. Nephenee had always told herself that jewelry would look like putting a duck in a frock. She was a country girl, hard working and a warrior. What did she have need for frippery?
"It's still hot, I wouldn't wear it just yet," Heather said.
"It isn't that hot out today. Or didja mean that it was recently made?"
"Your naivete astounds me sometimes, Nephenee. It's rather cute. I guess you're just too good to see the darker side of the world," Heather said.
"Uh, thanks..." Nephenee said.
"You're very welcome." Heather smiled in that way that made Nephenee feel hot under the skin. Really, she could make the most innocent things sound like a roll in the hay.
Nephenee cleared her throat. "I—"
Whatever she would've said was cut off as she heard the distinct sound of armor coming closer.
"I think she went this way!"
"Oh, damn. We might want to get running," Heather said.
"We...? You didn't buy this, didja, Heather?"
"As if you have to ask," Heather said.
Of course. Heather was a thief, it was downright stupid to think she'd do otherwise.
"I'll hold them off, you get running," Nephenee said.
"But, I couldn't–"
"I'll be fine. You just get runnin'."
"I'll never forget you, or this," Heather said. She wrapped Nephenee up in an embrace, so tight and well, soft that it surprised her. Then she was close, looking at her in this sort of flirty way, and staring at her mouth.
"Well, damn. Ruining my romantic moment...Ugh, I hate these guys!"
"Don't worry, I'm not gonna die, just get goin'!" Nephenee said, more desperately this time.
"See you soon!" Heather said.
Heather disappeared within a minute. Really, that girl could hide with the best of them, whether it be crowds or in the middle of a battlefield. Nephenee pulled the bangle off. A part of her was sad to see it go, given that it was the very first token of love she'd ever received. It'd be so easy to just put it into her bag. Nobody would ever think good ol' Nephenee would be a thief.
She was always dependable. Sometimes, she just wanted to stop being the one who was always nothing but the reliable one in the back keeping everything going with none of the praise. But as the fellow members of her guard came near, she held it out to two of her fellow guards.
"I got this from the thief before she got away," Nephenee said. "But I didn't see were she went."
"Nice catch," said the latest recruit. She hadn't quite gotten his name right, he wasn't one for hanging around mess hall and talking with the rest of the squad.
"Oh, no. Just...doin' my job," she said. "I been catchin' thieves since the army days."
"I'll go tell the seller," he said. He turned around without another word. Pretty soon he'd probably be a higher rank than her. There went the glory she could've had. It was all right, she wasn't big on attention, but sometimes a little wouldn't hurt. It wouldn't have felt right, anyways, knowing she hadn't fought at all to get back the bangle. Nephenee sighed and hoisted her spear on her shoulder as she walked away, deeper into the crowd. She'd done gone and completely forgotten what she was to get. At least she still had her payment.
For a second it crossed her mind that maybe she didn't have the payment. But, she pushed it aside. Sure, Heather might double cross someone on the other side, but she'd been real loyal to her friends.
She kept on walking, her boots kicking up dust as she went. Out from an alley a blond blur popped out and wrapped her up in an embrace that nearly knocked Nephenee over.
"Hey there," Nephenee said. "It's been a long time, stranger."
"It's been way too long," Heather said.
Heather lingered in holding onto her, rocking a bit. She sure was pretty and soft and...Nephenee wasn't exactly going to tell her to stop, work be damned. It could wait.
"I saw you back there. You gave it back? After I worked so hard to steal it for you?" Heather said. She looked a little hurt.
"I did, but it wasn't mine to keep. I'm sorry, Heather."
Heather sighed dramatically. "Honestly, Nephenee, you're just too honest! What am I to do with you?"
Nephenee looked down at her dirty leather boots. That was her, all right. Too good, too boring, too uninteresting. The last picked, but the first to be called when it was about being responsible like.
"Sorry, if you're lookin' for someone excitin' or dangerous, you're best to look elsewhere."
Heather draped her arms over Nephenee's shoulders. "You look down. You shouldn't be down about this. It's a good thing, I guess. I'll just have to corrupt you."
"Good luck with that," Nephenee said. She was smiling a bit, because it was hard not to smile with Heather so close. She smelled real good, which was pretty boggling as even on her best days Nephenee smelled like she'd fallen in the pigpen again and then sat and baked in the sun for a while. Guarding didn't exactly make you smell like a field of flowers.
"Or maybe you'll corrupt me into the side of lawful lawness?" Heather said.
"I don't think corruptin' works that way," Nephenee said.
"What if I steal money, and then buy you something?" Heather said. "It'd be putting a hard day's work in."
"Still wrong," Nephenee said.
"What if I steal money from someone who was ugly and awful and groped me?" Heather said, with one eyebrow raised.
"Somebody groped you?" Nephenee said. It came out a little harsher than intended.
"Yesss, he was so gross. Does this mean you'll protect my honor and take him down with manly fisticuffs?" Heather said. She sounded downright gleeful about it.
"I'll give him a talkin' to. He ain't got no right to touch you."
"A talking to with your fists?" Heather said hopefully.
"If he gets ornery," Nephenee said.
"And then I take his wallet after you took his self-respect?" Heather said.
"That's going a little bit far," Nephenee said.
Heather leaned against her. "Let's go drinking! It'll be our first date."
Nephenee blushed to the roots of her hair. "Um."
Heather smiled eagerly. "Well?"
Nepheneee blushed even harder and looked away. "...Okay."
Heather spun her around and pressed a kiss to her cheek. "Tonight's going to be an utter blast.You won't regret coming along, that I swear, Nephenee!"
Nephenee touched to her cheek, which still tingled. "That remains to be seen...You have trouble written all over you...but I like you anyways," Nephenee said.
"Yes, but it's sexy trouble."
This brought a smile to her face despite herself. Sure, there was a part of her foretelling that Heather was bad news, but it was always interesting around her. Sometimes she had to tell her dependable side to be quiet and just get drunk and kiss the pretty girl already.