She was going to have to leave. When he'd first told her he didn't want her with him she'd cried and stumbled over her words trying to argue her case but she'd known he wasn't being fully honest with her even then. He wasn't wrong either. Elizabeth wasn't strong and capable like the Sins and once she'd calmed down she could admit to herself she would in fact most likely become a burden to her dear friends. So even if she knew her knight wasn't being honest with her and even with how desperately she wanted to stay with them and help in every way she possibly could, she was going to have to leave. But no longer was she the sheltered Princess of Liones she'd once been and would not blindly follow orders. She would leave on her own terms.
It had all been arranged rather easily actually. Her first move after settling her mind on her course had been to find Merlin, possibly the only sin she could trust to keep secrets from Sir Meliodas. Merlin is mysterious and sly, things that both made her wary and she found herself envying. The boar sin had actually been more than a little helpful and had no qualms about keeping it all hush from the rest of their group after she'd convinced her of how sound it all was. So the princess had spent the next two days sneaking about the tavern as best she could, hiding a few things for her dear friends and doing her best to remain composed so she wouldn't end up giving herself away though she knew Meliodas was suspicious. They were bonded too closely and he never seemed to miss anything. She thanked the Goddess he never pried for he seemed to take it as fallout from their argument about her leaving. Still, she felt guilty.
That night the guilt was choking as she looked down at the blond sleeping in their shared bed. She'd slipped letters under each door before returning to tuck his underneath her own pillow and couldn't resist pressing a butterfly caress on his lips with her own. Just the once. She'd had no idea how long they'd be apart or if they'd even managed to find each other again afterwards and just this once she wanted to be brave. The thought had brought a sob to her throat and one last brush of her knuckles against his temple before she turned and fled from it all.
Elizabeth had fled fast and near fearless, for leaving them had been her biggest fear of all and after facing it nothing could seem worse. That had been her mantra through the lonely years to follow, through the trouble she'd found herself in time and again despite her best effort to avoid it. Rather ironically it seemed she'd fled one war only to find herself dragged into the thick of another. Goddess had it really only been three years? It felt like she'd lived another lifetime after leaving Britannia. She'd tried to keep tabs on rumors and war stories for word of her friends but so far away it was hard to get reliable information. Apparently the Boars Hat had not survived unscathed because the building before her was reminiscent of what she remembered except quite a bit...bigger.
She found herself nervous now. All the trials and tribulations and facing them scared her far more. She was about to face angry Sins, this she knew, but also an angry demon. His wrath absolutely terrifies her. But she had come so far and she wasn't a coward anymore. Feeling the steps creak under her weight as she mounts them felt like coming home and her vision goes fuzzy with tears for just a moment before she grits her teeth and pushes through the door. It was a busy night but her focus found six bright spots in the chaos immediately, their familiar voices ringing in her ears. Oh goddess she'd missed them. But it wasn't the right time to reveal herself so she made her way to a small table against one wall and kept her hood raised as she waited.
"Can I get you anything?" Oh no. She nearly gave herself away as she deepened her voice to order a Bania Ale and watch the shrunken giantess skip off to fill the order through the small blonde bartender. Time couldn't move fast enough as she nursed a total of four ales while she waited. When last call finally came about she kept her place and watched as the patrons sullenly and some drunkenly left the tavern. But when a voice spoke from right beside her she nearly jumped out of her skin.
"Sorry guy. Closing time. I'm gonna have to ask you to leave." She couldn't look at him yet but his voice was heaven. Odd as it be that a demon had become her heaven but there it is.
"Actually I was hoping you'd allow me to stay." She'd grown and changed and she had no doubt that they would be able to recognize her till she lowered her cloaks hood but still she pitches her voice to be safe for just a moment more.
"Why the hell would we do that?" Ban sauntered up with a mug in one hand and that fox grin of his before she lost sight of him as he leaned against the captain himself. She took a deep breath and tried to still the butterflies in her stomach before reaching up to pull the hood back.
"Well...I remember being told that this was my home. So I've come home." The bomb dropping takes a few moments and then the room erupts into a cacophony of noises and crashing sounds but Elizabeth kept her face to the floor. From what she can see through the curtain of her silver hair Meliodas does not move. Didn't even seem to be breathing. Her eyes slip closed and her heart stutters in her chest with fear until a callused hand cradles her jaw and tenderly urges it up and they fly open again to immediately lock with his own. Burning emerald that flashes violet before her very eyes. His name is a prayer, a promise that whispers between her lips.
"Meliodas." He doesn't speak to her and she shifts her eyes to the other sins gather near the bar but strangely quiet and watchful. Only Merlin meets her gaze with clear surprise in her usually closed off eyes. When she turns her gaze back to meet the green she'd missed so much she's not altogether surprised to see fury there. When he tugs at her hand she willingly follows, past the gawking group of some of Britannia's strongest warriors and up the stairs. Even that makes her want to cry in nostalgia. It's only when he opens the door that she jerks from his grasp before he can pull her through.
The reaction is swift and powerful. He spins on his heel and his eyes go violet tinted black while power explodes from his being with a snarl. She doesn't even flinch. Radiating calm she cups his cheeks with both hands and smooths her thumbs over the strong arc of his cheekbones. Confusion clouds his eyes as green returns and instead of asking the questions she can see burning they slide closed with a sigh.
"I...I need to know something before I can enter this room."
"Please Meliodas. I cannot go back in there until you are honest with me." His eyes open again but he is quiet and she smiles, knowing she's got his entire focus on her alone. "You told me you didn't want me here. No! Don't interrupt me please. You said I needed to go and I did. So now I've come back but I need to know you want me here."
"Elizabeth...yes. Goddess sake yes." With a gasp the damn breaks and tears pour forth from her mismatched eyes. She allows herself to be lifted into strong arms that cradled her like she is something precious as he crosses the threshold and hears the door click shut behind them. Her hands move to cover her face, ashamed of her lack of restraint even after all her hard work but her demon clicks his tongue as he sets them on the large bed. She's settled on his lap and hes prying her hands from her face by wrapping strong hands around her small wrists and pulling them to his chest.
"Come on Elizabeth. I haven't seen you in years. Don't hide from me now that you're finally here." The last few works are quiet and the hurt in them is palpable as he buries his face against her neck, long hair hiding his expression from her shocked eyes.
"Oh Meliodas, I've missed you so much." Her arms circle around his surprisingly broad shoulders and the feel and smell of him is nearly overwhelming.
"You were just...gone. I lost my mind Elizabeth."
"I know. I'm so sorry. I had to do something."
"You couldn't tell me? Do you have any idea how scared I was? How angry? You just vanished." The rage is back in his words, or wrath as she should name it, but she has nothing to fear from him.
"No I couldn't. You wouldn't have let me go, even with all your talk."
"Your damn right! But you just left me like it was nothing." Squeezing him tighter she gasps out her denial.
"No! Never! You have always meant so much to me Meliodas. You are my hero, my knight, my captain, my demon...my home. You are my sin Meliodas."
"I told you I can't live without you. You are my life Elizabeth. Each of my hearts are yours to do with as you will but...you. Do. NOT. Leave me."
"Never again. I'll tell you everything, explain why I did what I did and where I went. Why it took me so long to come back. I won't ever leave again Meliodas, so long as you don't want me to. I am yours." He moves then, black eyes fathomless as his hand coaxes her face towards his own. His growl is guttural before he steals her breath with a kiss that is an undeniable claiming.
"Yes, you are."