A/N: I actually wrote this on my phone lmfao, technology is wonderful! I experienced an influx of Larsa/Penelo feels when I started playing FFXII again, so this is the result. Enjoy, and please R&R!
DISCLAIMER: I don't own FFXII, which is the best game ever srsly you guys
Summary: It was there that he had found her; lost in the assonance of their heartbeats. [T] Larsa/Penelo, postgame
When words were whispered about her, his heart would race, to the rhythm of the rain that couldn't keep itself out of the emperor's window. It was the small things she said that held him fast to her letters, the musk of the parchment smelling of adventures he'd experienced once before. He missed those days, and he missed her.
She was all sky blue eyes and sunshine locks, glittering with her own kind of stardust, and this memory of her resonated from his waking moments to that of his dreams. He was young but there was more, and someday she would know the rest. He trembled at the thought of him telling her, the words fumbling out hopelessly, clumsily, one after another, and Gods, this love hurt. It frightened him to be so useless. The most powerful boy in the continent was a boy nonetheless, so he wrote his courage down and tucked it into the depths of his desk, for the hope that braver days would come with age.
The cream of her letters crested his obligations with ease, and his eyes slid over her prose ardently, as if she could be conjured into sight from her 'I guesses' and 'maybes'. She left the spices of Dalmasca burning tears in his eyes, her itineraries and adventures filling the empty space in his chest which he saved for her. He recreated her battles in his spare moments and imagined him fighting along side her; against man, against beast, against scion. Whatever it had been, he had always saved the hi-potions for her; the only kinds of potions he could make, since he had never succeeded in love potions. But heavens above, never mind them; he was in love with her enough already.
He never stopped noticing new things about her. When she visited for his birthdays, she always wore something different. But as he grew older he stopped noticing the fabric on her sleeves and the flowers in her hair, and by his seventeenth birthday he instead saw things like the bow of her mouth and the swell of her hips; he noticed the way her waist thinned at the ribs and the way her smile made everything prettier and her sharp wit sharper.
Vaan had caught him staring, and gods, he had been ashamed. But the pirate had simply winked. "In Dalmasca girls dress like that cause its hot, right," he'd said, his goblet leaning haphazardly in his hand, "but its gotta be something like 20 degrees cooler in Archadia, so there's no reason to dress like that at all. She probably wants to impress you."
The emperor had been shy and denied such nonsense, but was guiltily satisfied when he noticed her arms and chest puckered with gooseflesh in the cold, and thought that finally, all his hard work had been paying off.
When she had left, inklings of her scent remained on the velvet of his doublet and the cotton of his shirt. It was the subtleties of nature, such as the breath of the wind or the sun on his skin, that caused this scent to reiterate, reminding him of her as if she'd never gone. He would stroll the gardens with his noisy, metal entourage, and silently beg the winds to once again swill her perfume across his nose, afraid that one day he would forget. While she was flying in the skies above, he stood on the ground and closed his eyes, wishing that precious birds didn't have to always fly away. But the prettiest birds had wings, and the last thing he wanted was to clip them.
When he yielded to sleep at night she took over his mind, a bird trapped in the cage of his subconscious, his heart frantic and stirring until he woke up breathless in the dawn. It was getting worse; Gods give him courage, he would have to tell her soon.
On his eighteenth birthday he rummaged through his desk, past the endless bills, treaties and warrants, and instead unlocked the drawer in which he kept a precious letter to himself. As he unsealed the creamy paper, he found brief words in a younger, yet wiser hand;
one must not be afraid of one's own feelings. If you are reading this, your bravery and patience has done for itself; now, your pain may be useful to you.
His heart hammered in his chest when she arrived for the ball. Glimmering and gleaming, his eyes drank in her splendour greedily, savouring her glossy lips and silky hair, tumbling over her shoulders in heavy braids. Gods, how had he missed her great and terrible beauty when he was twelve? When she spoke, he stared at her lips, wanting to prove their softness by testing them against his mouth. When they danced, he tried not to tremble too much as he held her waist, his neck resting in the crook of hers, his eyes closed against her skin. When she laughed, she would sigh with delight and content, sending the blood rushing around his body like the birds in the sky during a storm.
He was out of control.
Her hands gripped in his, he stole her away into the night. He lead her through elaborate corridors lined with silk tapestries, whose florid pulchritude was rendered obsolete in comparison to his Dalmascan desert lily.
"Where are we going?" she whispered, her voice a breath on the wind.
"I wish I knew," he said in reply, turning a corner.
"Are we running from something?" her voice once more.
"Only myself," his selfsame cryptic response.
Tired of running, she pulled him into a room, as florid and decorated as the rest, and closed the door behind her, heart beating as if it were running down its own corridor.
"You are not yourself," she said quietly, studying her timorous snow white emperor. His back was turned but alas, his heart was torn wide open and visible from every angle.
"Nay, you are much deceived; this is who I have been for these last few months, " he replied, his heart fluttering.
"You must tell me if anything is wrong," she said softly, taking his gloved hand. He felt her palms through the leather, and she felt the heat burning off his skin. She pulled him closer and looked into his stone grey eyes, gleaming like diamonds in a fit of passion.
"I am so dreadfully in love with you." The words were not sugar coated, but they were sweet all the same. "And I fear that I am losing my mind, and that perhaps, I have been too forward in this instance and offended you with my idiocy, because I cannot possibly imagine anything more disgusting than a man who cannot control the words that spill from his mouth." His expression was imploring as he took her hands in his, hot from his gloves. "See what you have reduced me to."
Her silence carved an agonizing hole in his chest. He gazed at her and assayed her sky blue eyes, as if he might glimpse her thoughts flicker through her pupils. He wondered, as he stared, how there could ever be someone more beautiful than her and more stupid than him.
"Every syllable of my thoughts pertains to my memories of you," he blurted out, sick of the silence but sicker yet of himself. He closed his eyes, despairing. "Please tell me what I am to you. I am desperate to know."
Her lips parted, but they were wordless and silent as she pressed them against his. He was destroyed for the shock of it, and grasped her in his arms, shedding his gloves, feeling every atom of her being with free fingers while she twisted her hands into his hair. He felt them lock, cupping the back of his head while he pressed her against the door, his heart slowing as he closed his eyes, lips resting on her shoulder. He felt her eyelashes flicker on his cheek and her butterfly kisses on his neck, tickling pink onto his skin.
When they parted, it was brief.
"It took this long to tell you," he whispered against her ear, dripping with jewels.
"We'll just have to make up for the time then, won't we?" was her response, as cool and as fresh as the rain that couldn't keep itself out of his window.
It was there that he had found her; lost in the assonance of their heartbeats.