Fandom: Fire Emblem: The Sacred Stones
Character: Eirika (Seth/Eirika)
A/N: Seth/Eirika Modern-Day AU (Takes place after events of Seven but works just fine as a stand-alone)
Link to Table
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Sitting in his seat in our private box, Seth crosses his legs, uncrosses them, leans on his elbows, sits back in his seat, and crosses his legs again.
I put my hand on his knee and smile at him when he looks over. "There isn’t going to be a test after show, you know. Just relax."
"I’m sorry," he murmurs. "I’ve never been to an opera before. It’s not really..."
"I know," I say squeezing his knee. "I’m glad you came."
"Why did Ephraim cancel all of a sudden?"
I shake my head. "It was something to do with Tana so I didn’t want to pester him for details. Things are a little touch and go right now with them."
The opera hall is filled with chatter. Sitting high above everyone, I love to look down on the crowds. The seats are filled with men in dark suits and women in dresses of every colour, though red is always popular. I’m in a deep blue gown with an impressive decolletage– that I caught Seth eyeing earlier.
"Don’t forget," I say before he can start to fidget again, "you have carte blanche to drag me to an event of your choice. A Knicks game. A baseball game. Anything."
His lips quirk. "What about pro wrestling?"
"Or maybe monster trucks..."
"Since when do you like monster trucks?"
"I don’t particularly." I swat him with the program. His eyes turn to the stage then and he sighs. "I’m not going to understand a word of what they’re saying..."
"There should be subtitles on the screen over there. And you’ve read the summary in the program, right?"
He nods. We’re seeing Carmen. With the little French I’ve studied I can understand bits of it, but not much. It’s not really about the words, though. It’s the singers themselves, their voices, that convey the emotion. You don’t need to understand every word to grasp the feeling of the opera.
The lights dim and the show begins. I reach out to squeeze Seth’s hand. Excitement thrills through me. Tonight if I meet anyone I know during the intermission, I’ll be introducing Seth as my fiancé; in a week I’ll be able to introduce him as my husband.
I know he won’t really enjoy the show the way I will, and I don’t expect him to hear what I do when the performers begin to sing, but he came. For me. And that’s enough.
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"I know." Our voices echo through the bare rooms. The charities came and carted away all of Seth’s extra furniture and now there’s nothing but a few piles of boxes left. It’s the thirty-first of March, the very last day of Seth’s lease on his apartment. I feel awful that we left it to the last minute but things have been so busy of late. Of course when things got busy I did offer to have professional movers pack everything up and bring it all over to my place, but Seth gave me one of those looks.
"I’ve lived here for so long," he says.
I smile. "I know. I remember it from when I was sixteen. You’d just moved in then."
He glances at me, brows creased. "When were you at my apartment?"
I give him a sideways glance, one eyebrow raised. "Are you telling me you don’t remember?"
He clears his throat. In the hollowed out room it has a low, rumbling sound to it, like a dog’s growl. "You were young. I didn’t think of you... like that.... until later."
I start to giggle. The poor dear has such a pained look on his face. It’s still early in the evening and we have time before we need to leave for good, so I saunter into the kitchen and perch myself on the counter top while Seth puzzles over when and why I was here. "Do you need a hint?"
"Please." His footsteps resound throughout the apartment as he prowls around his former living room and its scratched up hardwood floor.
"I got to lie on your couch." He spins and has that pained look again. "Are you having naughty thoughts, darling?"
"Of course not." I wait a few seconds and then, "There was ice."
He tilts his head and stares at me. I kick my feet out, swinging them as I sit on his counter. His eyes drop to my feet and I can see it in his face. "Your ankle," he says, nodding. "You sprained your ankle."
"I was wearing a ridiculous pair of red heels. Horrid things."
He nods. "We were close to my apartment so I brought you here to ice it down right away."
"You make it sound so... prosaic."
I laugh. "For a sixteen-year-old girl? I had a gorgeous man come to my rescue, sweep me up into his arms, carry me to his apartment, lay me down on the couch and put his hands all over my bare ankle. That’s the sort of thing a sixteen-year-old girl fantasises about."
"I see." I feel my cheeks flush as a lopsided smile creeps onto his face. I supposes even Seth can figure out where that particular fantasy led.
He makes another tour of his apartment, pausing to look out his bedroom window and take in the view one last time. It’s a view of the building across the street, but I suppose its familiarity is comforting to him. From my penthouse windows we get a spectacular view of the city, though I need special blinds to keep out all the light. New York is always shining.
I wonder, though, what he’s thinking about as he takes his final look around. Is he thinking of Natasha? They were very nearly living together for a while, so I’ll be glad to leave this place behind. Even though I’ve spent the night with Seth here, made love in his bed, on his couch, sometimes I could swear I caught a whiff of Natasha’s perfume. And I know it’s all in my head because Natasha hardly ever wore perfume anyway.
As he heads back to the kitchen I catch him stuffing a paperclip and the stub of a pencil into his pocket. It makes me smile.
"Are you ready?"
He nods. I hop down from the counter and take his hand, intertwining our fingers. "Let’s go home," he says.
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Standing in the doorway to Seth’s new office, I watch him placing his books on the bookshelf, one at time. I wonder if he’s going to alphabetize them. Or maybe he uses the Dewey Decimal system?
To one side is his some-assembly-required desk. The varnish on the bookcases was picked to match it, so at least it doesn’t look too out of place. His father’s moose mug is perched on the corner and it looks like he’s decided to keep it in here– which is fine with me. His fencing foil hangs above the desk, a suggestion of mine that he took up. I thought it would be a nice touch, especially since he doesn’t care to display his trophies. In the corner is a worn stuffed chair with a reading lamp next to it.
This room is entirely his and he takes such obvious pleasure in it that I feel warmed to watch him. I want him to feel at home here. I want this place to become our home.
He glances over his shoulder and smiles at me. "You don’t need an invitation to come in."
I cross the room to stand next to him. My hand runs up and down his spine, rubbing his back. "Getting settled in finally?"
"Oh and no wild antics tonight, all right?" I say with a wink. Tonight is his bachelor party, though I use the term quite loosely. Ephraim is taking him and the boys out to dinner.
"I don’t think you’ll have much to worry about with Ephraim there."
"It’s not Ephraim I’m worried about."
"Eirika, I’m not the sort to–"
"I meant Forde."
"Ah. Well... yes." I had a little chat with Forde earlier this week and made him promise there would be no naked or semi-naked women involved in the event in any way, shape or form. He agreed a little faster than I’d expected. That makes me nervous. "I’m sure it’ll be fine," he says and kisses the top of my head before reaching to get another book out of the box he’s unpacking. He seems so contented here. And for a while, standing close so I can feel the warmth seeping from his skin, I enjoy just watching him.
He is alphabetising them.
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I start awake at the sound of the door. The book I was reading is lying open on the bed next to me. I glance at the clock. Twelve-forty. I thought he’d be back by eleven.
"Seth?" I call out, rubbing my eyes.
Seth pokes his head into the room. "I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to wake you."
I shake my head. "It’s all right. I dozed off while reading. You’re certainly up past your bedtime, though. How was dinner?" He clears his throat and runs his fingers through his hair. "Seth?"
"It was..." He clears his throat again. "Interesting."
"Are you drunk?"
"No. I had some scotch." He doesn’t sound drunk, but he has this guilty look on his face.
I peer at him, one eyebrow raised. "Were there naked women at your dinner party?"
Seth groans. "Not exactly." What does that mean?
"A stripper?" I bite my lip as he hesitates and my stomach is flip-flopping rather unpleasantly.
"I’m going to kill him. Forde promised me he wouldn’t hire any scantily clad women."
"There weren’t any women," Seth says.
"But you said–"
"Forde thought it would amusing to hire a drag queen."
"A–" I stop, stare, take a breath. "Are you joking?"
"Sadly no. She– he– did a lap dance for me." I’m too tired not to laugh at the abashed look on Seth’s face.
"Come here," I say holding my hand out to him. He comes and I pull him down next to me and kiss him. "Was he pretty?"
"Not my type," Seth says with a groan. "Forde seemed to rather enjoy himself, though."
"I’m going to uninvite him to the wedding again."
A smile tugs at Seth’s lips. "If he’s still in once piece– Kyle nearly had a fit. Ross... decided he needed to use the men’s room."
Seth grunts. "He nearly fell off his seat laughing." I roll my eyes but then turn my attention back to Seth as he strokes my hair. "Am I cleared of all charges then?"
"Case dismissed," I say and kiss him again.
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I glance down at my cell phone as the chime alerts me to a new text.
Wut abt 2sdy
Tana and I have been in a text message war since this morning. It’s Monday. I’m getting married on Friday.
Tana’s flying in on Wednesday and I think she may well be as excited as I am, though I think Ephraim might have something to do with that too. I’ve been trying to get her to spill about what’s going on. The war started with with Tana’s "R U Xitd" and my reply of "R U and E together." So far she’s winning– mostly because I have to stare at her texts a while in order to decrypt them.
I take a break from my overflowing inbox to answer her.
Tues may work need new swimsuit
I still need to pick up some things for the trip. Seth and I are going to the Bahamas for our honeymoon and there some things I just can’t have someone else pick up for me– lingerie, for instance. And a new bikini.
When my cell pings again only a minute later I start to wonder if Tana was sitting with the phone in her hands just waiting for my reply to come in.
U shd t8k S
She’s suggesting I take Seth along for the shopping... at least I think that’s what she’s suggesting.
"Don’t u have work 2 do," is my reply, which moments later is met with ":P" as a response.
Maybe she’s coming in early and wants me out of the way. After the whole bachelorette incident, I wouldn’t put anything past her. Maybe she’s sneaking in to see Ephraim. I’m still not sure what’s going on there and Ephraim’s been tight-lipped ever since he cancelled on me the other night.
I have work to do, reports and messages that need to be written so I can clear my desk before Friday, yet I reach for my cell again.
R U coming rly Tues 2 C E
I’m shocked by the reply. It’s in English. Yes. A surprise. No telling.
K C U then
The beauty of it is, we could have settled the matter in fifteen minutes over the phone.
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Seth glances at me with a raised eyebrow as I sit down on the corner of his desk."I still need some things for the trip, and I know you need new swim trunks," I begin, trailing my fingers along his arm. "So what do you say we take a long lunch and go shopping today?"
He winces. "But, darling, I have work I need to get done."
"You can do it when you get back."
"I’m not sure that’s–"
"So what you’re saying is you don’t want to come and watch me try on bikinis?"
He clears his throat. "Well..." He shuts the file he’s looking at. "I... suppose it can wait."
"All right, how about this one?" I say as I step out of the change room in another bikini. I saved this one for last. It’s red and there’s not a lot of it.
Seth’s eyes widen, his eyebrows arching.
I spin to give him the full view, biting back a laugh at the look on his face. "So what do you think?"
He gawks for a moment longer before he finally manages to speak. "I think I’m quite glad that we’ll be on a private island when you wear that."
"I’ll make sure to get one of the more modest ones too," I say with a wink. "In case we feel like going to one of the other islands."
Two weeks alone with Seth on a private island. I can’t wait. His jaw dropped when I told him how much renting it would cost. A luxury island in the Bahamas can go for somewhere between one and two hundred thousand a week, depending on the size of its staff and the perks it offers. I had to remind Seth that, to me, it was spare change.
"What about the blue one?" I say from inside the change room. "It wasn’t too revealing, was it?"
"The blue one was lovely."
I emerge from the change room, fully clothed this time, with chosen swimwear in hand. "I need to get a few things on my own. Can you pick out your swim trunks while I do?"
"What sort of things?" His attempt at indifference fails entirely.
"Girly things that you don’t get to see until the honeymoon."
He clears his throat. "Oh. I see." Definitely not indifferent.
I take his arm as we head out of the private changing area. "See? Shopping with your fiancé isn’t so terrible, is it?"