Theme: #97; The Night Before the Decisive Battle
Game: Fire Emblem: Seisen no Keifu
Notes: This is me trying to inject some logic into Azel and Tiltyu's chapter 5 love convo. :P Namely Azel's bad choice of words.
He didn't want her going along with him tomorrow, not when there was a chance of her getting hurt out there. He wanted her back in Silesia with their son where they would both be safe. And most of all, he didn't want her to do something she might regret; if she was angry enough with her father what if she tried to fight him?
But for some stupid reason the first words that came out of his mouth were, "I'd have second thoughts about someone who could kill their own father so easily."
They were only words, and for a moment he'd foolishly thought she would have been able to read between the lines. But apparently she hadn't, and he couldn't very well take back what he'd said or pretend he'd worded it differently. Sure enough, the moment he tried to explain himself Tiltyu hit him with a pillow and moved over to the other side of the bed, refusing to look at him.
"You care more about some killer than your own wife!" she snapped.
"Tiltyu, that's not how I meant it!" Azel argued. Why didn't I just tell her the truth? Three years and you still haven't changed, have you, Azel?
"Then why did you say it like that?" Tiltyu demanded.
"Because I'm an idiot who still doesn't know how to talk to women the right way?" He could have sworn he saw her hiding a giggle, and relaxed a bit. "Tiltyu, what I meant was that if you go out there tomorrow and kill your own father, you'll regret it for the rest of your life," Azel said. "If you could do such a thing you'd be betraying yourself and your own love for him...I know you better than that."
"But it's his fault everything happened to bring us to this point. You know that," Tiltyu said.
"But don't you remember what a good man he used to be?" Azel asked. "When we were children...when you, Lex and I used to get together at Freege he'd tell us stories about the family's lineage, about his own childhood."
Tiltyu sighed, rolling over to face her husband and smiling slightly.
"Yeah. He used to joke about keeping an eye on you and Lex, because when we got older one of you would 'steal me away'," she said. "But then he'd say if anyone were going to steal me away he'd want it to be one of you."
She closed her eyes, leaning against his side.
"Even if he's not the same person he was back then, I couldn't bring myself to kill him anyway. So I don't see what you were so worried about." She stuck her tongue out at him. Azel smiled a little and pulled her closer, stroking her hair.
"So what was all that talk about coming with me tomorrow?"
"I want to be with you until the end. I won't feel right hiding out in Silesa while you're fighting for your life! We've come all this way together, and I can't stop now. We're not just husband and wife, we're...we're a team!" Tiltyu said. "I want to tell our children the same stories my father told me. About how we faced off against an entire country who wanted us dead, how the Tordo and Fala blood in our veins led us to our victory!"
Azel almost didn't know what to say to that. Tiltyu being sentimental and dramatic was nothing new, but rarely did it ever reach this level.
"Tiltyu, even if you didn't have any intention of fighting your father's army, it's still not safe for you to come with me," he told her. "You're carrying our child." Tiltyu sighed, gazing down at her still-flat stomach.
"It's not like I'd actually be fighting, you know. I'd just be standing nearby with a healing staff in case you or someone else got hurt!"
"Point," he said. "But even so, the desert is no place for a pregnant woman."
"I know, but I wouldn't feel right not being there with you!"
Would it be right to go out there without her? The healing skills she'd learned from Lady Edain would indeed come in handy, and he would feel better knowing she was standing behind him. But no matter how well she was protected from the enemies it would be a long and arduous march in barely tolerable heat. It would put too much strain on her and the baby.
And even if we win and clear our names, Lord Leptor will still die. He remembered the solemn look on Lex's face after Lord Langbolt's death, the way Lady Edain and Bridget had looked after Bridget had slain their brother Andrei. Even if we clear our names it's too late for the people we love who were on the wrong side.
He shook his head, returning to the present.
"You got quiet." Tiltyu was twisting and kneading the fabric of his nightshirt between her fingers. "What's on your mind?"
"I was trying to decide whether or not I should let you go with me," he said.
"I can't. It's not a decision I can make for you," he said. "Tiltyu, no matter what happens tomorrow, we'll lose something. Whether you're fighting with me or safe in Silesia..."
Tiltyu nodded, closing her eyes.
"If we lose, we'll be branded and hung as traitors. If we win and manage to clear our names, I lose my father," she said sadly. "So what you're saying is it doesn't make any difference whether I'm here or there." She sighed. "But now that I think about it, maybe I should go to Silesia after all."
"Tiltyu, don't think you have to just to placate me," Azel said.
"It's not because you said so." She stuck her tongue out, then grew serious again. "I don't think I could handle being there when they finally kill my father, no matter how far away I am from the battlefield. I've spent so much time hoping he'd come to his senses, but he seems determined to die fighting to prove he was right...if he has to go down, then..."
Azel nodded, drawing her close to him.
"I understand," he said.
"Besides, we already have one child back in Silesia who needs his mother, and I should be there to tell him how his brave daddy's out there fighting for our good name!" Tiltyu giggled.
"Also a good point!" Azel laughed. "So you're really okay with this, then?"
"And..." He swallowed. "Do you forgive me for being such an idiot before? You know I didn't mean I wouldn't love you, I-"
"I know what you meant," Tiltyu said. "At least now I do. But you may want to brush up on your speaking skills! Even if we're not to inherit our houses, we'll still need to make plenty of public speeches as lords once we get back home."
"Duly noted," Azel chuckled, kissing the top of her head. "Now let's get some sleep, okay? We both have a long day ahead of us tomorrow." She nodded, closing her eyes as they laid down under the covers. Azel stayed up a few moments longer, gazing at his wife as if trying to memorize every last one of her features.
If only tonight didn't have to end, he thought as he let sleep claim him.