It's been forever since i worked on this story. At first i decided to leave it as a oneshot but i had this chapter i started a loooong time ago just sitting here so i decided to just finish it up and release. Hope you enjoy it and sorry for the grammatical errors. I just write to release the stupid ideas out my head lol.
It's been 2 weeks since Nephenee and the rest have joined up with the Greil mercenaries. Being part of a mercenary group was a lot different from what she was used too. Especially the amount of freedom given, but she guessed that's the benefit of being sell swords, no one dictates what you do...well aside from the commander. The company has treated Nephenee and her companions nicely, it didn't feel like home, but it would eventually become a familiar sight.
"Yo Neph." She heard her name called from behind her. She turned around and saw it was Boyd who had called. He had become fond of calling her that nickname. Boyd was the 2nd youngest sibling of three, with Rolf being the youngest, and Oscar being the oldest. She got along with them well enough, Oscar was a nice guy and the calmest of the three. She found Boyd to be a bit endearing, he was loud and proud but with a big heart that only meant well. Lastly Rolf, she took a certain liking to Rolf since he reminded her of her younger sisters, always trying to prove themselves despite their age… the green hair helped as well. Boyd had one time made a joke about her being a long-lost sister of theirs. With hair like that and looks that good, she had to be one of them he stated. Rolf had refuted saying that she could just replace Boyd which ended up in the two arguing with Oscar having to break it up. She had chuckled remembering that moment, those three loved each other just like how she loved her sisters, she hopes this war can end so she can get back to them.
"You doing alright Neph?" Boyd asked. It's not easy getting accustomed to a new group, so he's tried to help as much as he could, also she was a green. They had to help each other out.
"Ya- i mean… im fine." Nephenee almost let her usual speech come out. The way people here talk was so different. She didn't want her way of talking to throw them off.
"You sure?" Boyd asked, noticing her stammer.
"Yes Boyd. Did you need something from me today?" She wanted to deflect his suspicions.
"Ok well, could you give these to Ike." Boyd handed Nephnee some papers. She looked them over, seeing it was reports of what looked like expenditures. It detailed weapon stocks, food costs, money spent on the maintenance of the barracks and much more.
"Now that he's leader, he has to do all the boring stuff." Boyd gave a heartfelt laugh at Ike's misfortune. He bid Nepehnee a goodbye as he went back to doing whatever Boyd does in his free time.
Nephenee took one last look at the paper before walking through the camp heading to Ike's barracks. During her walk, her thoughts wandered to the young commander. Nephenee would like to say she's good at reading most people since she spends more time watching than talking. People's emotions tended to freely show themselves as per the human condition, even others who didn't show much had subtle expressions that one could discern. But Ike was different, he seemed… for a better lack of words stoic all the time. He had his moments, but it was hard to tell what was ever on his mind. Nephenee stopped her thoughts as she saw she was in front of his barracks. She knocked on the door and heard him tell her to come in. she opened the door and was surprised by what she saw. Their young commander looked frustrated and exhausted. The cause of his problems, the many papers littering his desk. It seems he hadn't even acknowledged her presence as he was so focused.
"Um… commander?" Nephenee called out. Ike looked up and his eyes widened a bit in surprise, he wasn't expecting Nephenee. He had hoped the girl was settling in well, she got along well with everyone, but Ike could still see she was a bit uncomfortable in the barracks. She didn't smile much but when she did… Ike found that expression on her breath-taking and he wasn't sure why. His thought of the girl stopped when he saw what she was holding in her hands.
"Those are from Boyd aren't they?" Ike questioned.
"Yes commander." She said as she handed him the papers.
"Please just call me Ike. Still not used to the title… or the responsibilities it comes with." He sighed looking over the papers that were just handed to him with disdain.
"Sorry co-, uh mea-, I mean Ike." Ike raised his eyebrow at that. Another thing he noticed about Nephenee is how she stumbles on her words, it sometimes sounds like she's forcing her words out.
"Ill, um leave you be co-, Ike!" she quickly made to leave, a little embarrassed by her slip up. Before she could get to the door she heard Ike call out to the young woman.
"Wait Nephenee, is everything alright? Have you gotten used to everything here?" The young commander was genuinely concerned about her stay… but he also didn't want to be alone with all these papers.
"Oh, um yea. Everyone has been good to me. It's just going to take some time, that's all."
"I understand, just let me know if anyone is giving you trouble. I know Boyd can be a bit much, him and his big mouth." Ike said. Nephenee gave a small smile at that comment on Boyd. She knew him and Boyd were best friends due to their various interactions. The small times that Ike did ditch his stoic face was whenever he was with him, his sister or his friend and strategist Soren. Which also led to her next question.
"If ya-, you don't mind me asking. Isn't Soren the one who does this?"
"He is, Titania made me take care of the finances this time. Says that as the new leader, this was also one of my many duties as well." he explained sighing a bit.
"Besides, I thought I'd relieve Soren of some of the work. Though I now know why he was laughing once he left." Ike grimaced thinking back to that. Another smile came to the young girls face. It was quite nice to see Ike like this. He still had that stoicism, but he seemed a lot more approachable now
"Im sure you will be fine." Nephenee nodded to Ike bidding him goodbye as she went to leave. Once again she was stopped by Ike. Ike did not want to let her go, he found talking to Nephenee and enjoyable experience.
"Wait Nephnee um… do you happen to have any experience with this kind of stuff?" Ike asked. The girl was surprised that Ike asked her to help. She thought about it for a moment, but it would be rude to not help her commander. Besides, she does have experience with this kind of stuff.
"I can do that." She walked over to Ike's desk and picked up the reports. It seems there were a lot of these. She looked at one and her eyes bulged at the amount of money spent on food. She knew feeding such a big group was going to be a lot but seeing the numbers was another story. They must have to restock often then if the food goes by this fast. She looked around to take a set and noticed that there was only one chair inside Ike's barrack. Ike looked up and realized what Nephenee was looking around for. He forgot that it was usually him in this place so there wasn't a need for more chairs.
"Sorry Nephenee, you can take my seat". Ike moved to get up but Nephenee quickly stopped him. She didn't want to inconvenience him.
"Please no commander its fine, I don't mind standing" She pleaded.
"But I don't want you to do paperwork standing, it wouldn't be right of me since I asked for your help". Ike argued back. Nephenee saw he wasn't going to back down from this. She merely nodded and sat down in Ike's seat. He moved out of the barracks to go find another chair for himself. While Ike was gone Nephenee decided to look around, the barracks were simple, nothing too extravagant or outlandish. She found it fitted Ike, he did not seem like the type to decorate… though Nephenee couldn't help but feel he could add just a bit more to spruce the room up a bit. Nephenee wasn't one to talk since she kept things pretty simple but she did like to sometimes decorate her room with the various mementos she gathered from a certain merchant back home. He'd come into her town every now and then with items from his travels, Nephenee would always be ready for him whenever he was in town. The young girl had always wanted to travel and see the world, it was always a dream of hers, but she also didn't want to leave her family either, especially given the circumstances now. The merchant was her one gateway to the other places out there and she'd keep whatever she got from him displayed in her room. Now that she thought about it, maybe she'd have the chance to see more places with Ike and them. She smiled a little thinking back to the simpler times. Fighting this war had actually given her that chance to travel around the world. She just wishes she could have done this under better circumstances. She shook her head of those thoughts and looked at the papers Ike had.
"Well it seems the weapon maintenance cost went up. Probably from that little scuffle we had a week ago. Those bandits always seem to pop up out of nowhere. We've made this much over the past 3 weeks, our food costs are high but it's to be expected with this many people in this group." She looked over more sheets analysing the costs and thinking where best the money could be allocated. (I know nothing of finances so my knowledge is very limited lol)
"Wow, do you even need my help? Seems like I'd just get in the way." Ike had come back with the extra chair stopping in his tracks as he saw Nephenee mumbling. He was surprised by what he heard. He needed help but with the way she was talking, it seemed he'd only be getting in the way. Nephenee went a little red in the face, she hadn't even realized he'd come back, or that he was listening to her rambling.
"No commander, of course I'd need your help. I mean Ike!" Ike sighed, he guessed he shouldn't have forced her to call him by his name. Even Titania did it when it came down to business, guess he should just get used to it.
"Its fine, even if you didn't. I wouldn't leave the work to you on your own anyway. Also don't feel pressure to call me Ike if you don't want to, just do what makes you feel comfortable" Ike said. She nodded smiling back at Ike as he put his seat down and sat in the chair next to her.
"So you can continue from where you were at if you want" Ike offered. Nephenee nodded and started listing off what she was talking about. Ike watched her carefully, he couldn't help but start to wonder who Nephenee really was. She's been here for about 2 weeks and he hasn't really got the chance to know the girl. But there was also something else about her that drew Ike's attention and he wasn't sure, whenever she moved around camp he would always steal glances at her, sometimes he couldn't take his eyes off her. He got caught staring last week when he stopped by to watch her train. She was swift and fast and knew her way around the lance. With enough training she'd even give Oscar a run for his money. Boyd accused him of finally catching on to "appreciating pretty girls" like the rest of them. He quickly denied it saying he was merely seeing her ability, which was true but… he wouldn't deny to himself that she looked captivating in battle. He wasn't sure why he felt that way, his company has plenty of pretty women, but he never really batted an eye at the rest the way he looks at her, it was a mystery to him.
"Commander? Are you ok, is something wrong with what i'm saying?" Nephenee said. She realized Ike was staring at her and he hadn't been paying attention at all, or rather he was paying attention to her rather then what she was reading.
"Ah no sorry. I was just realizing i don't know much about you." He stated.
"Oh commander, you don't need to worry about that." Nephenee said back.
"No i do, if your going to be a part of this company, i'd like to know who i'm sending into battle. But i understand if you want to keep some parts of your life private." Ike added. He understood also that not everyone would be willing to tell them about their past which is fine. But he'd like to know everyone in their company, what kind of leader wouldn't know who's under him? Nephenee contemplated this, she didn't feel there was a need for Ike to know about her. But at the same time it was sweet he wanted to know more about her, so she decided to let him know. She talked about her life thus far, her family, siblings, the war, she pretty much told him everything and it felt nice. Ike in turn did the same since it was only fair, they both avoided sad topics and focused on the happier parts of their lives. Their conversation continued for quite some time and before you knew it, it was time for dinner but the two young people never noticed.
Mist left the kitchen heading down to Ike's barrack. She was surprised to find him not there ready to eat. He's usually always on time for dinner, the young girl found it odd, he still couldn't be doing paper work. She laughed to herself imagining the frustration on Ike's face she'd probably find when she enters his barracks. As she got closer she heard Ike but she also heard another voice, and it sounded like Nephnee. The young girl slowed her steps and peeked her eyes into the little slit in the door. She saw Nephenee having a conversation with her older brother. Ike was smiling, not that she hasn't seen him smile before, but he's usually stoic with most. She couldn't believe what she was seeing. And Nephenee, the girl has been really guarded with most of the company but she's been opening up the more time she spent with them but this… it was like seeing a whole new person. Who would have thought the two most quietest members of the group would be the ones to bond the most. The more she watched them the more Mist couldn't help getting ideas. She know she shouldn't jump to conclusions but… the prospect of gaining a sister in law was too good to be true, she had to go tell Titania about this. She smirked and left the two young people to their conversation, they would come by eventually for food, for now she had to go have some fun.