Cordelia feels the cool night air blow her cherry-colored locks, drying the sweat from training practice. She shivers at the sudden coolness and makes a mental note to take a bath after checking on the pegasi, mending the ripped tarps, counting inve-
She trips on a soft figure and Cordelia ends up face planting on the lumpy ground. Spitting out a mouthful of grass, Cordelia rolls to her side to see a fellow pegasus rider.
"Oh I'm so sorry Cordelia!" Sumia squeaks. "I must've been totally invisible here and gotten in your way…!"
She silences her friend with a curt nod and stands up in silence. Cordelia smoothes down her skirt, brushes off the dirt on her cheeks, and checks for any dents in her armor. Once content, the redhead looks down at the sitting figure in front of the pegasi stables; Sumia was still frozen in place, in the process of a flower fortune with an almost petalless daisy as her victim.
The younger rider's voice trembles. "A-are you m-"
"I'm fine," Cordelia grumbles after making sure everything was in place. But when she sees the small and frightened Sumia, Cordelia's expression softens. "No worries, I really am alright. How about you?"
"O-oh, I'm fine just fine!" Sumia practically sings to her friend, a smile replacing her frightened expression. Instead of clumsily tripping and rolling down the hillside, Sumia gets up to hug the other pegasi rider. The flower falls to the side and Cordelia's senses are engulfed with the scent of flour and nutmeg.
She must've been baking again the woman thinks to herself.
Sumia almost hits Cordelia's face with her normally-gloved hand; yet, this time her hand was free from the skeletal armor and leathers. A bright golden band glints on a thin, pale finger: an engagement ring.
Cordelia's breath leaves her lungs.
Her heart stops.
She feels her legs buckling underneath her.
Her mind slips away to those nightmares that had kept her tossing at night.
Yet Sumia's adorable laugh brings her back to consciousness. She's playing with her new jewelry, humming while twisting it around her finger (Cordelia feels her heart twist with it).
She can't help the trill tone in her voice. "A ring? Oh Sumia, congratulations!" She quickly hugs her with cheer while Sumia gives a yelp of surprise and happiness.
"Who's your lucky husband to be?" Cordelia squeezes her friend even tighter (so that she can't reply).
Sumia finally pushes her back with a hearty laugh. She lightly touches her aching ribs but her smile shines even brighter.
Cordelia doesn't want to play this game.
As Sumia's smile becomes bigger (how was it even possible?), Cordelia's anxiousness gnaws deeper into her stomach.
"…Then Chrom, I assume?"
"Yes!" The brunette grasps her hand with a surprising force that makes her cringe. The young woman's eyes are practically sparkling like the stars overhead yet Cordelia feels her heart darken like the night sky.
"Chrom just asked me to marry him! Gods, Cordelia, I feel like a princess in a storybook! I never thought that…"
Cordelia wants to cry and scream and laugh and kick and yell and die.
"I feel so happy for you, Sumia."
Her stomach churns knots at the lie, and when Sumia radiates utter happiness at her response, Cordelia feels the bile rise to her throat. The guilt from the gilded words feels so wrong yet it was the only weapon she had to hide her true feelings – she had been too late.
The two pegasus riders sit down on the ground and Sumia continues talking for a while longer, the radiant expression never leaving her face. The redhead can only nod and smile to indicate that she was listening to her enthusiastic antics with the crown prince. And her soon-to-be husband.
While Sumia was going on about the different types of pies she baked for him, Cordelia has had enough. She kisses the brunette's forehead, her lips briefly lingering on the soft bangs. She hopes to remember her scent forever.
"A good luck kiss," she states with a small glint of mischief. "For the new Queen of Ylisse."
"Good luck for what?" Sumia quizzically bobs her head to the side and places a hand to her chin.
Cordelia laughs at her action, remembering how the pegasus rider had often done the same whenever she had her flowers taken away. "For your wedding, silly. Hopefully I've cast a strong enough charm to prevent you from tripping on your wedding dress."
The brunette gasps in terror. "Oh gods, Cordelia what will I do? I'd die of embarrassment if my clumsiness ruined the wedding!" The brunette shivers at the horrible thought while Cordelia giggles into her armored glove, the sound echoing inside the hollow fist.
"Don't worry. I promise I'll be by your side and catch you if you fall... I'll be with you forever." She feels a sudden lightness, as if a huge load had been dropped from her shoulders. A little too late she thinks.
"Thank you, Cordelia. You're truly my best friend." Sumia holds her cheeks and plants a soft kiss on her forehead.
"And here's my good luck charm."
Cordelia's face turns a deep shade of red, her cheeks blazing at the sudden touch. Words slur and stumble on her tongue and Cordelia thinks she's dying because her chest tightens to unbearable pains and –
"I hope you'll find love someday soon, Cordelia. You deserve happiness."
She remains on the soft grass, Sumia already having gone back to her tent. The thoughts of chores had long since been abandoned; instead, her thoughts linger on Sumia and her soon-to-be husband.
Cordelia looks at the stars above, searching for the constellations that her father had pointed out to her when she was a child. She easily finds Marth and Sheeda, tracing a finger to outline the famous lovers immortalized on the night sky. But Cordelia cannot find Catria's.
"You deserve happiness," she whispers as she grasps the fallen daisy that Sumia had left behind. Cordelia tugs at the single petal.
"She loves me not."
All the way back when Fire Emblem: Awakening was first announced and the character profiles were released, people were discussing about Tiamo/Cordelia's "forbidden crush/love". Some were predicting that Cordelia might've had romantic feelings for Sumia and I thought that would've been a totally cool idea.
And thus this fic (that I randomly started writing in the middle of the night) was created! The thought of Cordelia crushing hard on the clumsy yet lovable Sumia seemed cute enough though I couldn't really spin this other than with angst, angst, angst. I originally wanted this fic to be about Cordelia having a breakdown from Chrom being engaged to her best friend while Sumia confronts Cordelia about her feelings for Chrom, explaining the murky beginning of the fic. I actually hope that some readers might've mistaken Cordy's panic as being toward Chrom becoming engaged and later realizing that she's obsessed with Sumia instead (but I lack skill and subtly for that haha).
Poor Cordelia; but at least she's happy with Stahl in my file.