[identity profile] first-seventhe.livejournal.com posting in [community profile] brokenprism
Am I Not

Fandom: FFIV (OGC)
Characters/Pairings: Cecil/Rosa
Rating: PG

For: The Alphabet Meme, [livejournal.com profile] drakonlily, for R: "Rosa is sick of your shit"

Summary: Rosa is more than his queen.

- - -

"Cecil," Rosa said, and her voice was low and coaxing, its gentle prodding echoed in the slow forceful movements of her fingers, kneading knots from Cecil's shoulders. "Talk to me."

Cecil sighed, feeling the tension seep out of his muscles as his shoulders sagged under Rosa's attentions and his own lagging resolve. "It is too much," he said, softly. "Too much, this month, and it has not yet even begun."

"The taxes?" Rosa asked, and Cecil felt the low buzzing tingle of white magic as she sent it through her working fingertips; it slowly spread outward from her touch, cooling and soothing and releasing. "But I thought all was well with the referendum."

"It was." Cecil sighed, again, sighs he had not been able to express before his angry, arguing council. "But now… the council feels under-represented, and mad with it. They've served Baron for generations, and yet they're letting an untried King's whim divert their ancestors' earnings to the undeserving townspeople – it has become a mess."

"Hmm." He could hear rather than see Rosa's small frown, delicate on her pale lips and thoughtful face. The soft Regen spell deepened, and Cecil's eyes drooped closed. "And?"

"And that does not even consider Mist, which many of them still begrudge. They do not seem to understand how urgent that was – they are asking, now, why we could not wait to pass that monetary aid through the tax referendum like all else we are waiting on." Cecil shook his head, the movement slow through the pleasant throbbing haze of Rosa's work. "They did not see the town, so of course they guess and double-guess just how much those people truly needed Baron's help."

"Hmm." Rosa made another noise, and Cecil almost looked up at her; her inflection was unreadable, and he wanted to see what it meant, but the movements of her thumbs against the knots at the base of his neck were dominating the rest of his thought process. "Can you not—"

"That isn't even the worst of it." Cecil sighed, and his shoulders slumped in near failure now, finally honest under Rosa's unyielding attentions. "Damcyan has sent notice of their ceremonies next week, and there is no one else to go. The nobility is spread far too thin, especially now – sending one of their number to Damcyan would be suspicious with the votes looming. My best chancellors are away in Eblan, and Kain is—" The fingers stopped, Rosa's fingertips resting on his skin unmoving; Cecil's neck tensed, feeling the lack.

The motions started again, as soft and soothing as before. "You cannot make excuses to Edward?"

Cecil laughed, an unhappy sound. "Edward would certainly take them, my love, but it is not Edward we must worry about. The Damcyani have been so obsessed with their image, since Edward took their throne; they'd take it as such an insult, and we cannot afford to lose their support in Mist. There is no one else." He sighed. "So I must go, and abandon my most important vote to a council of nobles who hate my non-Baronian blood."

"Cecil." Rosa's tone was low, and now her hands moved to turn his face up towards hers; her eyes were surprisingly cool, and her voice was level. "Am I not your wife?"

The thought of it gave him pause, and he smiled despite himself, even though he was sure she had other intentions with that statement. "Of course, love."

Her hands slid from his shoulders, slowly, as she came around to stand before him, her face still calm and unreadable. "And am I not, then, Baron's Queen?"

"Of course," Cecil replied.

And now a small sly smile came to Rosa's lips, so small none but he ever would have recognized its gentle triumphant victory. "Then I will go to Damcyan. Or will their stature-conscious council find insult even in my presence?"

"I-" Cecil paused, and then took a deep breath, and said, "Of course not. But-"

"But before that," Rosa interrupted, smoothly, "I will meet with your council of nobles."

And now Cecil shook his head, incredulous. "What do you think that will do?"

"Cecil." She shook her head back at him, a gentle admonishment. "Am I not Baronian nobility, born and bred? Raised within the very town they claim to represent? The Farrell blood traces back farther than half of the men who sit at your table, now." She raised her chin high, and Cecil could see it, undeniably: the curve of her neck, the look in her eyes, the unmistakable stance of one raised within sight of the King's dinner-table.

"If they want to discuss their terms only with royalty of Baronian blood," Rosa said, her eyes flashing with the quiet defiance she carried so well, "I will give them the chance to do so."

"Rosa." Cecil stood, and took her hands in his own. "You cannot – I cannot let you do this."

"No?" Her lips curved. "Who else, then? Who else has seen the devastation of Mist; who else knows exactly whose hands sowed that destruction? Who else will stand and smile as Damcyan celebrates?" She shook her head, and the smile turned gentle, beaming, the healing smile of a true white mage. "Love, you have me. Let me."

He clasped her hands, trying to get across the utter sense of – of what he felt, and how strongly it was aching in his breast. "Rosa, love, when we married, I – I meant to keep you away from this." His voice dropped to a low murmur. "You're not meant to be tied to this throne, and I never meant to catch you up in the politics. You should—"

"When I married you," Rosa interrupted him, and her fingers wove between his own. "I married you for you, Cecil, and no other reason – but when I married you, I wed Baron as well." She paused, and then looked at him, her eyes certain. "And I'd have it no other way."

"It is not fair—" Cecil began.

Rosa shook her head, slowly. "Is it fair to leave me out of all of this, then? To let me stand at your side like a trophy, like a simple thoughtless flower?"

Cecil choked. "Rosa, I-"

She smiled, which took the sting from her words. "I know you do not think so, but you do me a disservice by allowing your nobles to continually write me off as naught but an arm bangle." She took a step backwards, letting their hands fall between them. "And you do Baron a disservice. You were raised as heir, yes, but I am bound to her in the kinds of ways the nobles understand."

Cecil simply looked at her; he'd feared this, the day Rosa had to give up her own dreams and desires for his politics, and he tried to say it – only to be hushed by her smile, before the words could gather on his tongue.

"I am tired of you feeling like the weight of this kingdom is yours and yours alone," she said, and leaned forward to kiss him. Cecil smiled against her lips, and pulled her close, wrapping his arms around her.

"Fine," he whispered once they broke apart, resting his chin atop her head for a moment. "I will bow to the Queen's whim."

"As you should more often," Rosa said tartly, but Cecil could hear the smile in her voice.
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