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Age of Pretense: I Don't Know
fe7, lyndis, fire emblem, lyn, rekka no ken
Age of Pretense: Ch. 9x: "I Don't Know."
Fire Emblem
(C) Nintendo & Intelligent Systems
-- Rating: PG
-- Characters: Elijah, Lionel
-- Warnings: Awkward teenaged boys being awkward, brief shirtlessness. Bad writing, uselessness. . .

I was writing the next chapter for AOP and realized that this part was absolutely pointless and it is really not quality writing. First time with Elijah's POV, and brief mention of Lenore, which is sorta important... but not enough to save it. Derp... but because of cutting out this section and other big edits I decided to make last minute, I'm missing my extended deadline .__. Will try to get this chapter wrapped up by this weekend.

Elijah felt sorry for Lionel. He did his best to see to his needs when they returned to Zeke’s apartment, pointing out the washroom and kitchen, inviting the Etruscan to help himself to anything he wanted. A part of him did believe the boy’s story, as Fae had, but he could understand why Zeke had made the decision that he had. It was his both his gift and his bane to be so understanding of people.

But he believed that Governor Farey was an honorable man. Elijah remembered staying up late during the elections, watching the colored polls as the numbers changed between every commercial break. He had even agreed with many of the man’s policies and was himself taken in by his amiable persona.

And despite the very strong temptation, he resisted the urge to blurt out the questions he was longing to ask Lionel. He supposed it made him just as bad as Rolana. A small, selfish part of him jumped at the thought that it was an opportunity to build connections. After all, Elijah had only been able to obtain his government internship because of Zeke’s network of friends in Ostia.

On the other hand, it was still a somewhat shocking development. Because if this organization that Lionel called the Way was truly dictating his life, it could only mean that Lysander Farey, his legal guardian, was involved with them as well, right?

It seemed impossible. For all Elijah knew, the man was sensible, very intelligent and well-meaning. Unless, this was what Lionel meant when he had mentioned the Way’s political influences?

Hm. It just sounds like a crazy conspiracy theory. But just because it’s crazy, doesn’t mean it’s not true, Elijah told himself diplomatically, watching as Lionel cautiously stepped into the living room and set his bag on the futon. He seems otherwise sane, and moreover... I think he’s telling the truth. Maybe...

He yawned. So tiring. It didn’t help that the day had already been physically exerting, and that week he had also extended his practices to prepare for the tournament. As a result he had been collapsing happily into bed at an earlier hour than his usual bedtime, and now his conditioned body was demanding that same treatment.

Fae had retreated into her own room as soon as they arrived... or perhaps ran was a more accurate verb to describe it. It was really very strange; she had even shut the door behind her. The atmosphere was so heavy that even he had a difficult time lifting the spirits. His attempts toward conversation fell flat, as Lionel seemed unwilling to offer much to keep one going. Eventually his own exhaustion came to the point where it was too difficult to consciously maintain his usually cheery hospitality, so he busied himself with getting ready to sleep.

So he was surprised when he twisted open a tin he retrieved from his bag and Lionel showed some interest. The scent of the lotion inside must have been what caught the Etruscan’s attention, because he looked over curiously as soon as the lemony mint smell was released.

“What is that?”

“Oh.” Elijah tilted the round container towards him to show him the contents. “It’s just lotion. My hands get really dry after fencing, so my mum put together a formula for me. It smells a little girly, huh? But it’s better than anything you can get at a store, and keeps my hands from looking too ashy.”

“You mean... she made this?” At Elijah’s invitation, Lionel took the tin and looked more closely at it. Elijah was relieved. Who knew his mother’s lotion would be the thing to break the awkward silence? Though his friends often made fun of him for being so conscientious of his dry hands, he was grateful for the habit now.

“Yeah, kinda crazy huh?” The Pheraen smiled as he dug through his bag again. “She’s always been all into the organic, homemade products.”

Then, crossing his arms and grasping the hem of his shirt, he pulled it off. Lionel almost dropped the lotion in surprise.

“What are you--” he began, and looked away stiffly, as if it were the most indecent thing Elijah could have done. Bewildered, Elijah put on the shirt he had just retrieved from his bag.

“Ah, sorry, I just got so used to changing in front of other people that I don’t think anything of it anymore.”

Lionel was clearly embarrassed by his reaction, and offered his own reasoning for it. “No, it’s fine. I was raised with sisters, so I guess it was just a surprise to me.”

“I was actually going to ask you,” Elijah said, taking a seat on the sofa, “you did mention having sisters earlier, as in the plural, but when you continued your story, you only mentioned one of them. Where is your other sister?”

Lionel sat down too, still holding the tin of lotion between his hands. He turned it between his fingers as if having something physical to do would ease his mind. Elijah leaned with his elbows on his knees, awaiting a response. Finally, the blonde youth set the tin down on the coffee table, his eyes still focused on it.

“There are only the two of us now,” he said. “Before they discovered Irene’s gift, the Way wanted to perform a ritual to offer St. Elimine a body to fulfill the prophecy of her return to earth. They chose my other sister for that task. It didn’t work.”

“Oh...” Elijah said, not sure what else he could say to something like that.

Hoisting himself back on his feet, Lionel put his hands in his pockets and approached the sliding door that led to the balcony. The lights outside just barely twinkled through the reflection of his face against the dark glass. There was a strange silence then, and Elijah wondered if as Lionel gazed out of the window towards the city, he was thinking of the sister he had left behind, wherever she was.

“I believe you, too.”

Lionel’s eyes darted toward Elijah’s reflection, and their eyes met indirectly. The Pheraen looked grim, as if the profession of his belief now placed him in a difficult situation.

“Thanks,” Lionel said, looking away, back towards Ostia.

“What will you do?”

“...I don’t know.”