Elma and Lucil Ch. 03byVampLover69©
The sun had completely set by time we made it back to the gorge. The lack of campfires suggested that the troops had not returned yet, another burden for Lucil to carry. As we moved closer to the camp we were able to see a small, singular fire near the front of the camp with one solitary figure standing in front of it. The moon was almost full and the gorge surreally lit, the silver light reflecting off the Crusader's silver helmet and the long metal spear he was leaning against. Which was odd, I'd never seen a spearman in the Crusaders before. Pulling my mount up short, I turned to look questioningly at Lucil. Her face was indistinct in the moon glow but I could have sworn her eyes were glittering dangerously at the sight of the stranger. She didn't even look at me but urged her mount forward again, forcing me to follow suit without a word and leaving me wondering just what exactly was going on.
The man by the fire didn't turn as he approached and neither did Lucil call out to him. Somehow I got the feeling that the two of them either knew, or were expecting each other. Maybe this was some kind of test of wills. ... If that was the case, we'd be here all night. Even after we had dismounted and put the war birds away, fed them and put away our own gear; silence still reigned. When Lucil moved to stand silently behind the stranger I realized something was going to have to give. It wouldn't be either of them and I was starting to go a tad stir crazy, so I cleared my throated loudly but only managed to earn myself a glare from Lucil.
"Excuse me." I spoke up, breaking the silence at least.
The man by the fire turned slight, a sardonic smile on his face. "Not the patient kind is she, Lucil?" He asked the captain, ignoring me completely.
"She can be." Lucil replied neutrally.
"Then again," The man shifted his spear so that he could lean against it once more. "unless you've changed much in the past five years we might have been here all night if not for her."
"You've changed." Lucil calmly shot back calmly, though her tone was tinged with a bitterness I'd never heard before.
"Having your summoner die can do that to a person." The man answered nonchalantly.
There was a long pause and only the Chocobo's soft cried broke the silence.
"Aren't you going to introduce me?" He enquired at last, free hand gesturing in my direction without breaking eye contact with the captain.
Lucil grudgingly looked away but turned her gaze to the moon and not to me. "This man is Syven." A pause and soft sigh. "We grew up together."
"Not exactly a happy reunion..." I mused aloud.
"No." Was Lucil's terse reply. "We were... competitors."
I frowned and rested my hands on my hips. "Competing for what?"
It was Syven and not Lucil who answered me. "A young woman's attention." I blinked in surprise. Of course it made sense but it still caught me off guard. "Sayah was a young summoner."
"Summoner...?" It took me a moment to connect the dots. I glanced up at Syven in surprise. "She chose you over Captain Lucil." I tilted my head to the side, remember his previous comment. "But... she didn't finish her pilgrimage, did she?"
Syven shook his head gravely. "She died on the slopes of Mt.Gagazet. I stayed there for a time, to learn the Ronso way of fighting. I wanted to be better able to protect my next summoner."
I shifted uneasily. "There was no other summoner, was there?"
My guess was correct, as indicated by a single grave nod of his helmeted head. "How ironic, that in the end our paths would be the same." He laughed then but without amusement.
"I carry no grudge." Lucil announced suddenly, starting Syven and I both.
He leaned forward on his spear and adopted another derisive smile. "So, stone cold Luci-Lu finally decided to forgive her childhood buddy for letting her girl die. I'm moved to tears, Lu. I really am." His tone was so sarcastic that I wanted to slap him; how Lucil refrained from the urge I had no idea.
"Keep that up and I just might change my mind." Lucil growled dangerously.
"So!" Syven announced his swift change of subject, straightening and turning his attention to me. "This your new girl, Luci-Lu? About time you got over Sayah, I say."
I stiffened and beside me I felt Lucil do the same. Syven arched an eyebrow beneath his helm, firelight reflecting off the silver and adding an even more eerie air to this most strange stranger. "She is your girl, right?"
I wasn't sure exactly how she would answer. She had taken some pains to keep our relationship discreet, but would she go so far as to outright lie? ... Would it really be a lie, if she said no?
Rather than answering with words, Lucil deliberately turned her back to Syven and pulled me into an unexpected kiss. I had the strangest feeling that I was somehow being claimed and I didn't care in the slightest. Our audience be damned, I put my arms around her neck, pulling her deeper into the kiss and giving in to the pressure of her lips on mine with a soft sigh.
"I'll take that as a yes." Syven commented dryly when we finally came up for air. I couldn't help but laugh and nearly jumped in surprise when Lucil gave a low chuckle as well. He planted his spear in the ground and clapped mockingly. "Nice. Luci-Lu, you haven't changed at all."
"Luci-Lu?" I couldn't suppress a giggle.
"Childhood name." Lucil dismissed it, making it clear the name was not to be revived. Not that I blamed her. It didn't really fit her, well not anymore.
Much to my astonishment Lucil stepped away from me and hugged Syven briefly. It was difficult to tell which of us was more surprised, him or me. She back away quickly, though and moved to stand behind me. I nearly started purring when she slid her arms around my waist.
"So..." I leaned back against my lover and eyed the stranger cautiously. "You two aren't really made at each other?"
"Nope." Syven yawned and leaned against his planted spear.
"Okay, then. Well, if no one minds my asking. Were the heck are the Knights?" I glanced up at Lucil, silently questioning why she wasn't more concerned about them.
"I trust this man." Lucil answered simply. "With my life, my troops and even my 'girl', both then and now." Her eyes moved up to bore into his. I sense that he was highly honored by this and I couldn't help but feel a bit honored myself. That my life would mean so to her.
"Well, since the girl here did ask." Syven roused himself and pulled out a sheet of paper. "Official orders from Bevelle. The Knights get three day's leave in Bevelle and then you get pulled for a special assignment. I sent your troops ahead. Figured you wouldn't mind."
I decided then and there that 'Three days leave' were the three most wonderful words in the Spiran language. I shifted my shoulders and bit and turned to look at the captain, grinning shamelessly. "Three days leave!" I repeated eagerly. I felt her left hand stir a bit, moving to cover the scar on my left side. Even with the cloth covering it, she had memorized its location. I took a deep breath and let it out slowly, gut churning suddenly at stray thoughts and memories. I knew without a word she was thinking the exact same things that I was. Syven seemed to notice this silent exchanged and his mocking smile returned.
"Though it would be best if you two love birds waited until first light to set out. We have reports of more Marlboros than normal on the plains. In fact you're lucky you didn't bump into any earlier." He pulled his spear out of the ground and sat it aside. From the pack resting at his feet that I hadn't noticed before, he produced a bed roll and spread it on the ground by the fire. "Oh. And for the duration of your next mission, I'll be HQ's official military attaché to the Knights."
"Joy." I muttered, snuggling in Lucil's arms for as long as she would let me. This proved no where near long enough before she gently pushed me away and retrieved her own bed roll. To my surprise she spread it out on the ground by the fire as well, one third of the circumference away from Syven. This left a place for my bed roll and somehow I thought that this was a scene that had played out many times before. Only now, I was the actor cast in the role of Sayah.
Not planning to sleep alone in my tent half way across the camp, I laid my bedroll out in the spot reserved for it and simply curled up under the blanket. Since we would be departing so quickly with the sun, it would be best to just sleep in our armor. We could clean up and change when we reached Luca.
Silence reigned once more and sleep could not claim me. The quiet hoots of lonely Chocobos, the even breathing of Syven and Lucil, the occasion rustle of fiends in the night. Nothing at all to keep me awake except my own thoughts. Was I just a replacement for Sayah? Who was Sayah? How involved had she and Lucil been? Lucil never talked about her past or her previous partners. Resting there I was struck but just how little I knew about my lover.
Sleep an impossibility stewing here in my own thoughts, I rose and silently made my way across the fireside to lie down back down beside Lucil. She was resting on her side with her back to the fire, so I slide under the cover to nestle between her and the fire. She shifted once but didn't awake. Thoughts silenced by her warm presence, I soon joined her in slumber.
I shifted once, not really awake. What was...? I gave a sleepy giggle as the tickling sensation returned, having moved down from my jaw to my neck now. The unmistakable sensation of lips on skin jarred me into wakefulness and my eyes flew open to see the two most perfect brown orbs in existence. I blinked a few times just to make sure I wasn't still dreaming but my lover didn't fade away.
"L-Lucil?" I stuttered, realizing only after I tried to move that she was stretched out across me.
"Good morning." She said serenely before claiming my lips. Now fully awake, I brought one hand up to rest on the back of her neck and parted my lips to admit her demanding tongue. Caught completely off guard by this wake up call I simply surrendered to her, moaning softly against her lips.
"Good morning yourself..." I breathed when she finally pulled away.
"I wouldn't get too used to that if I were you." A cynical voice shattered the magic of the moment. I turned my head, the only thing I could move freely, to look at Syven.
"I've done my share of watching. Now you learn to be silent." Lucil rebuked, turning my face back towards her to kiss me once more. Again I was struck with that sense of being claimed. As if she were shouting at him 'She belongs to me.' Not that I minded. I had no qualms at all about being claimed by a beautiful redhead.
The moment had been broken, however and realizing this, Lucil rose and offered me her hand. I accepted it and gained my feet as well. We packed up the remainder of our gear, saddled our Chocobos and left before the Sun had even risen completely.
The excitement about the upcoming leave was tempered by our sarcastic traveling partner. When he took the lead on the rise out of the gorge, I maneuvered my mount close to Lucil's war bird to ask her the question burning in my mind since I'd awoken. "Lucil... What was that, this morning I mean?"
She did thing the last thing I had ever expected. She laughed. It was a clear and somehow pure sound. I had to shake my head a bit; it was an almost mesmerizing sound. One I knew her well enough to treasure. I wouldn't hear it often.
"Well." She began, favoring me with that challenging grin that somehow still made my heart stop. "That's what you get for sneaking into my bed."
With that she urged her Chocobo to go faster and left me dumbfounded. Every time I thought I knew my captain... I found something else about her that made me lover her even more.