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27 June 2007 @ 12:34 pm
[Fire Emblem 9] [Ike/Elincia] Princesses aren’t supposed to love mercenaries - one shot  
Sitting here as an intern with nothing to do, naturally I post fic. XD

Title: Princesses aren’t supposed to love mercenaries (also here at ff.net)
Fandom: Fire Emblem 9: Path of Radiance/Souen no Kiseki
Rating: PG/K+
Length: 2,420 words, one shot
Character/Pairing: Elincia-centric, semi-pairing of Ike/Elincia
Warnings: Spoilers for the whole game and its ending, really.
Summary: 20 facts about Ike and Elincia in no particular order, written for 20_wars.

I wish that this turned out like a more typical 20 facts-type fic. Sigh.

Princesses aren’t supposed to love mercenaries
Or, 20 facts about Ike and Elincia

i.

Despite the outward optimism she’d showed, she hadn’t expected to survive Daein’s first strike. She hadn’t expected that, after her entourage was slain, a young blue-haired man – who was part of a mercenary group, no less – would find her and help her.

She hadn’t thought that she would be saved.

Then again, in retrospect, she hadn’t thought she’d ever become the acknowledged princess of Crimea, hadn’t thought she’d regain a throne once forever lost.

ii.

When they were little, she and Lucia laughed over many childish stories and ideas.

“And one day a prince charming will sweep you off of your feet!” her friend said with a glimmer in her eye, giggling.

“Hahaha, if he could ever find me. I’m a princess hiding in secret, remember?”

“’My dearest lady, love knows not any boundaries! Keep the shutters of your heart wide open and sooner or later it shall come and perch upon that windowsill!’ You know Bastian would say something like that,” she replied, and they dissolved into another fit of giggles.

“Well, he wouldn’t be a real prince by blood, then,” she managed to say once they’d calmed down a bit.

“He’d have all of those princely qualities, though. Strong, tall, handsome, and he’d swear upon his life to protect you and would fight an uphill battle to win your heart...”

“Lucia!” she cried, throwing a pillow at her, halting the conversation yet again.

But that was years ago, when they’d all been foolhardy and young.

Now, she finds that she needs to redefine what “prince charming” means to her all over, and the images and adjectives can’t swarm into her mind fast enough.

She finds herself thinking of blue more often than not, and wonders.

(if it’s an uphill battle for him, or if it’s merely one-sided for her)

iii.

It wasn’t until Ranulf returned to them that one serene summer night and made the joke about lovebirds under the stars that she started to realize the possible depth of her feelings for Ike.

iv.

Unfortunately for her, she couldn’t forget that wayward comment afterwards, ever.

Princesses aren’t supposed to nurse semi-murderous thoughts.

v.

The two of them would always find time for each other. Even when they were busy fleeing from Daein through the forests, and even when Ike had become the General and both of them had an extraordinary amount of tasks to tend to. At the beginning of the day, save for the emergency tactical meetings, they’d both take their meals and sit together in comfortable silence. At the end, they’d talk to each other in the near-twilight, whether it was a long conversation that dissolved into everythings and nothings or hardly enough for a pleasantry and a good night.

Always, always, always.

She never told him about the feeling of security she got from their meetings, mostly because it’d be meaningless to do so and that perhaps he’d start to think that he was merely a security blanket to her.

She was a good liar, to herself.

(and to everyone else.)

vi.

After all, to be a good princess, Elincia knows that she’s had to lie to herself and to everyone else as much as she’s had to tell the truth.

The truth: she will never leave this part of Crimea, never be acknowledged as Princess or Queen, never have a chance at anything else besides living this life of exile.

The lie: she is Crimea’s true princess. And is happy to have her role, with everything (and everyone) that said role encompasses.

vii.

Lucia is her best friend. When they were young, she would tell her everything, could tell her anything. Giggles over their latest exploits, laughter over air, smiles over sea; it kept her afloat. When they were young, she and the others were all she had in life, and she knew this, knows this still. They would do anything for each other, and Lucia had already pledged her life long ago.

“Elincia, I’ll always be there for you. So will Geoffrey, and Bastian. We are always going to be there, so all you have to do is ask.”

I’m sorry, Lucia, but I cannot tell you about this, she thinks. I cannot.

viii.

Princesses aren’t supposed to do a lot of things, Elincia knows.

Which is kind of ironic, because by the definition, shouldn’t princesses be allowed to do many things that ordinary people cannot? But truth is truth. They’re not supposed to mingle with commoners and anyone of lower than regal status or bearing. They’re not supposed to be able to fight, to be able to use magic, to be able to pack at a moment’s notice and to be able to ride on horseback for anything other than ceremonial purposes. They’re not supposed to wax a bow or sharpen a sword.

They’re not supposed to do many things.

(They’re supposed to sit, and look pretty, and flounce around in dresses with ruffles and ribbons and regality, and prim their hair and proper their face and do so many things with such empty meaning; that’s what she thought, that’s what she might’ve thought.)

They’re supposed to be dolls. Simply ceremonial dolls with wind-up smiles.

They’re not supposed to feel. They’re not supposed to love.

That’s her excuse, she knows believes thinks hopes hopes-not; that’s her excuse.

ix.

Ike always was ever so slightly amazed at how, despite her regal bearing and the fact that she was a princess, she was one of the most atypical members of royalty that he had ever met.

She’d laugh and blush and explain her hidden status, telling him stories about learning to ride on horseback and fight with a sword, about packing and doing menial chores, about studying and poring over tomes in the various seasons, about running in the fields under the summer sun and –

She gets to Lucia, Geoffrey, and Bastian, and stops.

(it’s not her story to tell, she thinks, but she’s really not sure why)

Lucia is ever so slightly amazed at how, despite her regal bearing and the fact that she’s a princess, she’s managed to fall in with such a mercenary group and become accepted and loved by everyone.

She laughs and explains how that status doesn’t really matter, telling her stories about how they first saved her, how they dashed through the woods in a race to Galmia, how they sailed for months and met the dragon laguz, about reassurances in the Begnion courtyards and talking under the twilight and –

She gets to Ike, and stops.

(it’s not her story to tell, she can’t tell this story well, she thinks, but she’s really not sure why)

x.

“You’re doing a good job as Queen, Elincia.”

She hears this from her courtiers every day, but it’s only after Ike says it that she feels so warm and full of smiles like she’s actually done good work. Because she knows he will only say things he means.

It’s not to say that she thinks her courtiers will only give her empty flattery and untruthful compliments. It’s just that, when Ike says it, he means it. And that means a lot to her, coming from him.

That’s all it is.

That’s all; it is.

xi.

The restoration effort takes time and he won’t leave the employ of Crimea until he’s seen the whole thing through, so he eventually leaves the castle and tours the countryside, going where he is needed.

Why he’s so obligated to do so, she doesn’t know. It’s been a long time since she’s decided – discovered – that he does things because he thinks they’re right, because they help people in need, because he wants to – but other than that, she has no idea, no inkling of what goes on in his mind. He’s a mystery to her, ever as enigmatic as he was the day she met him, the day he saved her.

She fully trusts him, has trusted him for so long, and lets him come and go like the wind, like the tide, like an uncontrollable force of nature that goes back and forth but never stops or pauses.

(Lets him go because if she loves something and sets it free, she knows it’ll return to her eventually, a small part of her mind whispers.)

Sometimes, he doesn’t come back for months, and to her it feels like years.

It’s always the same, every time he departs. Always the same.

She wonders when this endless cycle will end, if ever.

(and wonders if she even wants it to end at all)

xii.

If Ike ever loved her, and if they ever got married, the repercussions of that would be severe. So severe.

She’d never thought of that idea on her own. What would be wrong with her marrying a man, the future King of Crimea, further securing the throne of the land? What would be wrong with her following such a folly, the folly of her heart? Wasn’t that what she was supposed to do, after all?

But then she heard the rumors. The whispers through the hallways in passing that she was never meant to hear. How an average, ‘lowly’ mercenary (her mind wants to respond to that insulting description, oh it does) could rise up to the status of a Lord, gain the command of a country’s entire army and defeat the warlord of another.

How unfair it all was, how he usurped a class barrier that was never supposed to be breached. How he rose past courtiers and royalty to be the veritable right-hand of the Princess Crimea, who was he to think he could do such a thing –

At times like these, she’d feign the need for a breath of fresh air and would run out into the countryside, run towards freedom and everything that she had been used to, towards all the things she used to be that now she was not.

But even still, there was no respite there; everything was the same, except from the other side of things. Whispers of how, if one lowly mercenary like them could do it, they could as well –

She kept running, running running running, looking for respite and hoping for a way out.

(but there’s nowhere to go, nowhere to hide.)

xiii.

When she gets back to the castle, she falls onto her bed and doesn’t wake up until an eternity afterwards.

The next morning, really; the servants and Lucia decided that she had needed the extra sleep.

Elincia would have liked to say that it was because she was exhausted, that it was a dreamless sleep – but she knows better, and doesn’t mention how in her dreams she scoured skies and seas for a hint of blue.

She tries to forget by the next day, but she knows herself better than that.

xiv.

There comes the day when Ike leaves Castle Crimea.

For good.

Oh, no one says it like that – of course he’ll come by to visit, of course they won’t forget each other. He just wants to do the mercenary work that he used to do, wants to get back to his old life.

(wants to breathe free, fresh air again)

Elincia’s also heard the whispers about how there’s no way that the Greil Mercenaries can ever go back to the lives that they once had, but says nothing. It’s not her place. It’s never her place.

She stays silent with a strained smile, and waves until he’s out of sight, until he’s ridden into the clichéd sunset off in the distance.

xv.

In reality, the only reason she doesn’t shed a tear is because she’d sensed his intentions long ago and has been bracing herself for it ever since.

xvi.

Sometimes, when the nights are long and her bottom lip curls in emotion unidentifiable, she wishes that he’ll never come back.

And sometimes, when the days are short and the sun feels discomfiting and cold against her back, she wishes that she could take that wish back.

xvii.

The day that she’ll have her ceremonial wedding to tie herself to some man of royalty and to continue the Crimean bloodline, she’s sure that he’ll attend it. She’ll smile like she’s really happy, and he’ll present to her some sort of gift that will make it all the harder for her to swallow down her memories of another time long ago.

She’s sure that when he has his own humble wedding ceremony, somewhere far away from the castle and out of the public’s eye, he’ll send her the invitation some way or another.

Of course she’d have to attend. Of course she’d greet the bride warmly, tell her stories to emphasize what a lucky woman she is.

xviii.

Princesses aren’t supposed to love mercenaries.

For good reasons.

They’re scruffy, they’re ill-mannered, ill-bred, and usually dishonest. They’re willing to make a living by whatever means necessary, any job, any way. They’re unkempt, they’re unkind.

But then.

Mercenaries aren’t supposed to become lords, yet he did. And mercenaries aren’t supposed to become the general of a country’s entire army, but yet he did again.

Still, most lords aren’t like him, never are. And despite the title, Ike is, and always will be, a mercenary.

And princesses aren’t supposed to love them.

So therefore, she doesn’t. Love him.

She doesn’t.

xix.

(but she does.)

(she does, and that’s the problem.)

xx.

Sometimes love stories don’t have happy endings.

Elincia’s not sure if this – whatever it was that happened between them – was even anywhere near a love story in the first place.

(probably not.)

But one thing that this not-story cannot deny her: she’s good at dancing with her illusions, as she dips them a curtsy and they leave her with their bows.

(because this is the end of their never-ever dance.)

---------------
------------------------------

I apologize ahead of time for how some of these probably don’t count as, or at least fall very nicely on the line of, facts that don’t really count as 20_facts facts. My muse just kind of took this its own way, so uhm. Yeah.

Thanks to Rae for the quick beta’ing and all of those catches. Comments are like all kinds of yay.
 
 
our hopes and expectations: blahblah
black holes and revelations: damn elevator chimes and the like
 
 
( let's conspire to ignite )
Mini: Beezemisheard on June 27th, 2007 07:10 pm (UTC)
Absolutely stunning. Really, incredibly beautiful. I... have no words.
a regular decorated emergency.: CCS - Tomoyodarkenedsakura on June 28th, 2007 04:00 am (UTC)
By far, your comments are some of the most flattering that I ever get. Thank you so much, and I'm really happy you liked it!

:D
Raerae00 on June 27th, 2007 09:36 pm (UTC)
As another intern with nothing to do, I guess I'll comment. XDDDDDD

You're welcome for the beta. Glad you didn't think anything was really mistaken - I'm not used to betaing for FE stuff. Actually, I haven't really read any FE fanfiction. O_o
a regular decorated emergency.: Linali - forever from my worlddarkenedsakura on June 28th, 2007 04:05 am (UTC)
XDDDD

I don't think you ever mentioned to me much about interning. :O Let us commiserate. I feel bad, now that I know they're actually paying me when I do mostly nothing. Oops.

Hey, you're a great beta. Should I ever write that DC multipart (please don't hold me to this -_-), I have a feeling that I'll be getting you to look over that for continuity, plot, and characterization. Actually, I really need to discuss plot with someone. It's not going to be a really 'bam plot' story as much as it'll just be character stuff, I think.

Crap, this makes it sound like I'll write it.

And if you haven't read any FE9 fanfiction, then...uhh, I guess I feel special, knowing that you've read mine? XD In all honesty, there's not really that much out there. I'm reccing the few that I've found, but since they're so rare I'm trying to space them out as much as possible, so.
Raerae00 on June 28th, 2007 04:15 am (UTC)
I don't think I have, yeah, but then again it only started a few days ago. And semi-ditto on the guilty feeling. They are having me do some stuff, it just seems like there's nothing really serious to do...

Thanks. ^_^ Sure, no problem on betaing more, s'long as you're okay with my lack of FE-expertise. XD

Yus, feel special. Give me a reason to not feel guilty about failing to read any FE fanfiction whatsoever. XD;
a regular decorated emergency.: Presea - she's waitingdarkenedsakura on June 28th, 2007 06:04 am (UTC)
Is it office work like me? And yeah, in my case, some stuff means something about 10-20% of the time. Usually bland little things. Meh.

Hahahahaha. I said "DC multipart". XD There is one more FE fic that I have planned (which is Zihark-centric and tries to explain his past), but I probably won't work on that again for quite a while. Yeah, I really should get as many projects done this summer as possible, shouldn't I.

I thought I just gave you one, re: there isn't all that much in the first place and you'd have to scour through all of those pages of fic at ff.net to even attempt finding them. XD I'm going to look through livejournal again and see what I've missed, though I have a feeling that there isn't much here as well. It's a shame. Maybe FE10 will get more fic out there.
Raerae00 on June 28th, 2007 08:25 am (UTC)
Not really; but it's not exactly rocket science either. *shrugs* [/enough detail]

You keep switching back and forth between those two (or more?) when you refer to current works. *rolls eyes good naturedly* Eh, don't wear yourself out. It's for fun remember. XD

Yeah, one of the reasons I never got into it was 'cause the fanbase is/was so small. Then again, last time I gave it a shot was not long after the first FE came out in the US. XD; Oh, well. Which is FE10, now?
a regular decorated emergency.: Chase (again.)darkenedsakura on June 29th, 2007 06:33 pm (UTC)
Fair enough. XD

Not these two, but the multipart and various others, yes. And hey, you know me. Fun and getting things done go hand in hand, or something. I wouldn't make myself write if I didn't like to. XD

For the most part, it's nonexistant, even on lj, and you probably don't want to touch it most anywhere else. FE10 is Goddess of Dawn (or something like that, and is FE9's sequel. So I'm looking forward to it for sure, even if Ike and the gang aren't going to be main characters; in fact, Sothe looks like he'll be the main one. Which...is annoying, but whatever. Maybe he'll turn out all right.
Raerae00 on June 29th, 2007 09:27 pm (UTC)
XD

I know you wouldn't. But others might. And you didn't smother it in smilie faces, which online is like saying, "I'm suicidal and hate this; help me go away!" XD

...Maybe that's why he was completely useless in 9? We're not supposed to focus on him so that there's room for...something useful...in the next game? Huh.
lazulidragon: General Ikelazulidragon on June 27th, 2007 11:22 pm (UTC)
This was really beautiful, and I quite enjoyed it. Which is pretty impressive, really, since it's one of my least favorite characters in my least favorite pairing. I think the rather unique treatment of the 20 fact format is interesting and effective.
a regular decorated emergency.: Soren - stars falldarkenedsakura on June 28th, 2007 05:59 am (UTC)
As a story character, I thought Elincia could use more depth. As a playable character, I thought that the game took a good idea and them promptly shunted it. But since I don't really like Ike/anyone except I/E and I could only find sappy...OOC stuff, I thought, hey, why don't I give it a try, since they deserve more and I can kinda angst up anything. And that's what happened. XD;;

Erm, rambling aside. I'm really glad you liked it despite not liking Elincia, and the crazy style of mine as well which I'm never sure about. :D
★☆→ t-t-touchin' on my ✖: karelrutger; my decembershotglass on June 28th, 2007 04:10 pm (UTC)
These were absolutely incredible. So beautiful and so sad. Also so very realistic. Absolutely amazing. Your style is really something. ♥

Rule 11 no longer applies (it's in the userinfo), and fake-cuts are allowed, so long as the entry is (and stays) unlocked. Your set has been added to the completed list.
a regular decorated emergency.: Martel - 4000 years agodarkenedsakura on June 29th, 2007 06:20 pm (UTC)
Wow, uhm. I'm really glad you liked it! XD

And haha, okay, phew. I was fairly sure about rule 11 (except that with my luck, I tend to miss something, so then I wasn't sure again XD), but not about the lj-cuts. I hate it when people f-lock fanworks, so don't worry, it'll stay unlocked. And thanks! I might consider claiming something else next. Hmmm.

:D;
Trying to avoid that bloody destiny: Elincia and Leanne Comfortthenicochan on August 28th, 2007 08:19 pm (UTC)
That was great. Seriously amazing. Ike/Elincia is an underdone pair and she's an unappreciated character. I really liked Elincia (Can't wait to see her again in RD <3 <3)

Written extremely well. <3 loved it.

It made me sniffle.
a regular decorated emergency.: take flightdarkenedsakura on August 29th, 2007 08:41 am (UTC)
What I don't get is why, despite all the under(over?)tones, no one writes Ike/Elincia. The Ike/Soren's explanatory with the slash thing and all, but then Ike/Lethe, and even some Ike/Mia fics...yeah. So. And Elincia too, not many people do tribute to her well. XD

But anyway. I'm so happy you liked it! And I never know what to say when I make people sniffle, so, uh...thanks again :D