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[personal profile] sarasa_cat posting in [community profile] ff_fortnightly
Title: Alone, She Allows Herself to Smile
Fandom: FFXII:OGC
Characters: Ashe, (Ashe/Rasler, Ashe/Balthier)
Rating: PG
Prompt: 97:Gifts
Summary: Ashe up in her palace tower, in-game at end of game one-year-later (spoilers)  ...you know the scene.


The ring was given to Ashe as a gift, sealed with a vow, stolen, and now portentously returned.


No matter the words that were once spoken in her city's streets, Ashe had known Rasler personally since early childhood. They spent time together beyond the watchful eyes of widowed chaperones. On the day Ashe first bled, just after her fourteenth birthday, she asked her father to engage her to the Nabradian prince. Instead, the King's Counsel deemed her too young, and her wish was delayed until the wheels of war delivered him to her.


Ashe dislikes punctuated moments hinting of omens and fated events. Those brief slowings of time when everything else jumps forward, raising temptation to chase illusions, her wilted desires. She grew up secretly believing an unnamed curse was cast upon her. But that was before she knew the Occuria, before she was able to see one of them in the guise of her dead husband reaching for her.

For a year, Ashe has allowed herself to believe Balthier is also dead. Gone from this world like his father and his father's Occurian mentor-bride. How dare Balthier taunt her now? She slips the ring onto her finger. Everything slows.

 
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