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Catching the Wind: Part 2

Catching the Wind
By: Memory Dragon
Disclaimer: I do not own Tales of Vesperia, nor do I make any claim to.
Summary: Flynn wants a lot of things: his best friend and Second in Command to get along, the proper use of doors, to make a meal that won't knock people out, and possibly a little happiness of his own.  Sadly, only one of those is ever likely to happen.
Characters: Flynn/Yuri, Sodia, Repede
Warnings: I'm warning for Flynn on this one.  He's too frickin' adorable, and that deserves a lot of warning by itself.  Also, there are very brief dub/non-con thoughts of pushing someone before they are ready that the character stops himself from acting on.  It's only a paragraph, but it is there.  Finally, this is my first Tales venture, so I'm not too sure on the character voices.  Hopefully they work.
Rating: PG-13


~

* * *

Yuri's room was the same as Flynn remembered it. Shabby and worn, with blankets and curtains that had been patched one too many times and dirt on the walls that never seemed to leave no matter how much one cleaned. He knew for a fact that Yuri could afford much better than this tiny room above the bar, but it was amazing how much more like home it felt than his own quarters at the palace.

He couldn't find fault in how Yuri always came back here, really. Flynn almost wished he could do the same. Some might say Flynn wasn't refined enough to appreciate the castle, but he much preferred the rugged conditions of the lower quarter, or Aurnion's new feel, a city that he helped build with his own hands, to the castle.

Flynn borrowed some sleep clothes from Yuri that ended up being just a bit too small and a little on the cold side, but he didn't mind. It was much better than sleeping in his uniform, and it gave him an excuse to curl up next to Yuri like they had when they were children, sharing warmth when there was only one blanket to go around.

He woke up feeling more refreshed than he had since he left Aurnion, and for once, not feeling like he wanted to just go back to sleep. Though that was probably due to the marvelous feeling of waking up to find Yuri's head on his shoulder, long hair spread out behind him. It was just before dawn, so Flynn allowed himself a few minutes of simply holding Yuri in a way his friend would probably complain about if he were awake. But to have Yuri this close, and for once not having to hold back... It was a wonderful feeling. He should have done this years ago. Maybe if he had, he wouldn't have hurt Sodia so much... His arms tightened around Yuri, though he made sure not to wake him. He'd have to deal with Sodia today, so he was going to take what comfort he could from Yuri now.

Finally, Flynn sighed and extracted himself from the warmth of Yuri's arms, knowing he had to speak with her. He pressed a kiss to Yuri's forehead, before heading down to the kitchen to make a quick breakfast. Flynn was stalling, but he really did want to try and make a meal for Yuri. He even cleaned up after himself, leaving it as spotless as he could considering the conditions, and had enough left over for both Yuri and Repede. The latter sniffed the plate of eggs and bacon warily as Flynn dressed, folding the borrowed clothes and leaving them on the desk. Flynn honestly didn't feel too disappointed when Repede slowly backed away from the dish, putting it down for another botched meal. Maybe he shouldn't have used that much ginger and the curry sauce he had found?

Yuri was still sleeping, curling up around the pillow Flynn had vacated. Scrawling a quick note, Flynn tenderly tucked a few stray strands of Yuri's hair behind his ear. He said a quiet farewell to Repede before slipping out.

The cool morning aer greeted Flynn on his walk back to the castle, and he found he enjoyed the brisk morning walk. He slowed down, telling himself he wasn't avoiding returning to the castle, not really. He had to take advantage of being out this early and Sodia wouldn't be up yet. There weren't many people about this early in the morning, but Flynn was still stopped four times by people, both in the lower quarter and the public quarter. He managed to help three of them, directing the fourth to lodge a formal complaint about the robbery, and checked that the knights guarding the outskirts of the city were still awake and watching for monsters. Without the barrier, a constant watch had to be kept. The impromptu inspection showed nothing amiss, and he made a note to tell the lieutenant in charge how well the men and women under his command were performing. Flynn still made it back to his office with five minutes to spare off his normal time, no longer having a reason to avoid it. He was a little relieved not to have run into Sodia, though a glance at the clock told him it was only a matter of time.

Opening his door, Flynn stood in the doorway, head hung in unsurprised dismay at the amount of paper work waiting for him at his desk. This was why he didn't take days off, especially not when the guilt for skipping out was now eating at him slowly. "It's not going to do itself," he said to himself with a sigh, slipping down into his chair. It might help him keep from thinking about his nine o'clock appointment. As he reached for a request for more knights and supplies at Deidon Hold, Flynn wondered if Yuri had woken up yet and read his note yet. Probably. Yuri was usually the earlier riser of the two of them, after all. He signed off on the request, a small smile on his face as he remembered Yuri's head on his shoulder. No matter how hard this conversation with Sodia was going to be, at least he had that much. The fact that he had it because of her only served to make him feel more guilty, and Flynn sighed as he picked up another report.

At nine o'clock exactly, there was a sharp knock on his door. Flynn took a deep breath and put aside the report from Heliord. "Come in," he called.

Sodia opened the door and saluted, standing in front of Flynn's desk with her head held high. "Sir," she said, standing at attention.

He regarded her carefully, wishing there was some way to make this easier. "Sodia, please. Take a seat."

"I'd prefer to stand, Sir."

He nodded, then outlined the extra duties he set out due to her absence yesterday, including dawn inspections and taking a few extra night shifts. She waited after he had finished, expecting more. When none came, she asked him directly. "Sir, my behavior yesterday warrants a stronger punishment. If you are too lenient-"

"I'm aware of the consequences," Flynn said in mild rebuke.

"I'm sorry, Sir," she responded, still stiff.

"Please sit," Flynn asked again, his expression softening. "I'd like to talk to you as your friend, not your Commanding Officer."

Her eyes widened in surprise at his words. "Sir-"

"Flynn," he stressed, motioning for her to sit down. She gingerly took a seat opposite of him.

"I don't..." Flynn started, then sighed. "I don't approve of what you did. You attacked a private citizen without provocation, and one who happens to be very important to me. I wish more than anything that you and Yuri could get along."

"Sir, that's not-"

"Flynn," he stressed again as he smiled ruefully. "And I know. I won't ask the impossible of the two of you, though it's a nice dream sometimes."

At this, Sodia looked down, her face unreadable. "I'm sorry," she said simply.

Flynn shook his head. "It's not your fault, not entirely. Some of it is Yuri's too, and maybe a little bit of mine as well, given how angry I was at him when you both met."

"You had good reason to be angry with him at those times," Sodia said, raising her eyes as anger bolstered her.

"Maybe," Flynn said distantly, thinking back to that time. He had seen the price on Yuri's head and he'd been so angry that he'd just started attacking him after they had taken care of the assassins, when really he should have had more faith in his friend. It had taken Estellise to talk him down, explaining that Yuri (mostly) wasn't to blame. But when he had watched Yuri kill Cumore... then he really was furious. He had wanted nothing more than to shake Yuri and scream at him for his calm acceptance that one day he would face the punishment for his crimes. Flynn couldn't help but wonder how differently things might have gone if he had tried listening to Yuri, instead of just condemning him.

Would Duce Belius and Don Whitehorse still be alive if they had worked together, instead of antagonizing each other? Flynn couldn't say. He didn't know if he'd even properly forgiven Yuri for killing Cumore and Ragou, or if he could in good conscience. He certainly didn't forgive himself for allowing it, or what his own foolishness had caused. Flynn had deserved Yuri's harsh words that day about blindly following orders. They had both lost respect for each other, having to work doubly hard to earn it back.

"F-Flynn," Sodia said, startling him out of his thoughts, a light blush on her face.

It was nice, hearing her use his given name without titles. Despite his thoughts, he smiled warmly at her. "Sorry. I was miles away, wasn't I?"

She shook off the apology, quietly waiting for Flynn to continue. He took a deep breath before diving back in. "I know you two don't get along, but I can't condone either of you attacking each other, especially not... not when it's about me."

He caught a glimmer of some emotion that was gone too quickly for him to recognize. He wondered about it, but she didn't respond to the statement, so he continued on. "But at the same time, you weren't going to really hurt him, were you? You were doing it for me, to help me. I would be foolish not to appreciate that loyalty, even if it was misguided. And..."

Flynn foundered for a moment, unable to find the words for what he wanted to say. Yuri was always much better at this sort of thing. Nothing for it but to try to explain. "I never usually win the arguments between me and Yuri. I could always beat him with a sword, but Yuri was better with words. And he's so stubborn sometimes when I'm around that I just want to shake him. I think sometimes he doesn't listen just because it's me telling him. And while I wasn't going to give up on convincing him, I didn't have a lot of hope that it would actually work. Certainly not any time soon."

He paused, looking Sodia directly in the eyes with a kind expression. "You were able to get through to him when I couldn't. And I know how much that must have hurt you. Thank you, Sodia."

"I-I haven't done anything worth thanking for," Sodia stammered out, the blush returning to her face.

"You have," Flynn insisted. "You've been a very good friend to me, even when I can't return your feelings." At this, Flynn looked down, not sure how far to push. "And I'm sorry, for hurting you this much. I know you don't like my choice either, which probably makes things even harder for you. But... I hope someday, I'll prove worthy of your friendship."

He looked up shyly, afraid of the reception he would receive to that statement. He hadn't expected to see Sodia crying, with an expression of such grief on her face. She had known about his feelings before, so surely just saying that...

He stood up, moving over to kneel beside her chair and take her hands in his. "Sodia, I'm sorry. I shouldn't have-"

"Commandant," she said, putting as much force behind the title as she could manage. She didn't wipe away her tears, but Sodia visibly reigned in her self control after a single sob. "I don't deserve your thanks or apologies, Sir."

"Sodia, that's not-"

"Please," she asked, causing Flynn to fall silent. He squeezed her hands in response, allowing her to speak despite his protests. "I have... I've done something terrible, something that betrayed you. And I'm not strong enough to tell you what I did yet."

He stared up at her, baffled by her words. When had she betrayed him? He wondered first if it was as bad as she thought, or if her guilt simply blinded her to the truth. Even if she had done something, she had supported him since he was a lieutenant. Flynn could never have reached the rank he held now without her, and later Witcher's, help. So what could she have done that was so terrible? And when? "Sodia, whatever it is, you can tell me," he said, hoping to allay her fears.

She shook her head, her breath hitching. "I'm sorry, but I'm not strong enough yet. And I'm not strong enough to wish for your happiness so long as it's with him, no matter what I have to do to atone for my sins. And I know it's not fair for me to ask to stay by your side until then, now that you know. But one day, I'll be able to tell you, and I'll accept any punishment you give me, Sir."

Flynn was at a loss of what to say. If she really had betrayed him, somehow... He closed his eyes, mentally steeling himself. He had doubted one friend before with disastrous consequences. What she felt right now, this guilt and remorse, that was a true enough emotion. Even if she betrayed him once, she wouldn't do it again if she really felt this way. He would believe in that until she could tell him the truth. Besides, if she had really been a danger to him, Yuri would have said something, instead of keeping this secret. Whatever it was, Yuri definitely knew.

Running his thumb over the back of her hands, he nodded. "Sodia, I'll wait for you to tell me."

"Commandant..." she whispered, fresh tears filling her eyes. He smiled at her, and was reaching up to wipe away the wet trails down her cheek when a loud crash from outside the window startled both of them.

Flynn gave Sodia's hands one final squeeze as he stood and walked to the window, a small frown on his face as he opened it. There was nothing immediately visible, so he leaned out in search. However, it wasn't until he looked one story down into the bushes that he saw the trouble. "Normal people use doors," Flynn said dryly. "They're big wooden things that allow you entry to a room, remember?"

"Since when have you known me to take the normal route?" Yuri asked, looking up from where he laid spread out in the bushes, bits of twigs and leaves tangled in his hair.

Two knights turned the corner before Flynn could retort, both looking up to the open window. "Sir!" One of them said as they both saluted. "Is everything alright, Sir?"

The other guard, who had finally spotted Yuri, drew his spear. "An intruder!"

"Stand down. He's not an intruder. Just an idiot friend of mine who doesn't understand the concept of using a door," Flynn said. He'd admit that the thought of letting Yuri be locked up for a day or two was rather tempting, but he'd never get any work done if Yuri decided he needed to break out again. "Please escort Mr. Lowell to my office, and show him the proper way to enter the palace."

Yuri, who had extracted himself from the bush by this point and was brushing himself off, grinned up at Flynn mischievously. "No need for the escort, Commandant. I know the way."

Without so much as a backward glance at the guards, Yuri deftly scaled the wall up to Flynn's window. "Yuri, the damned door won't kill you! I know you know how to use one!" Flynn shouted over the guards' distressed calls.

"Yeah, but they're overrated," Yuri said with another grin, looking down absently and completely ignoring Flynn's temper. "You gonna call off the goon squad?"

Reprimanding Yuri would do no good and would probably just encourage him to do it again, Flynn reminded himself as he slowly counted to ten. He sighed and looked down at the knights who were having very little success in following Yuri up with all the armor they wore. "I'll take care of the matter. Please return to your posts," Flynn said. They gave a hesitant salute before walking back the way they came.

"You should show more respect to the Commandant!"

Not again, Flynn thought glumly. He turned to see Sodia glaring at Yuri, her hands tight in fists and her eyes dried, though still red from her tears. Flynn had just gotten control of his own temper, and Sodia was only going to make things worse by yelling at Yuri. This was a recipe for disaster, which could, admittedly, be said for the majority of Flynn's cooking, but was it too much to ask for a bit of peace and quiet in between the drama? "Sodia-"

"And if you hurt him," Sodia continued, shocking Flynn into silence. "I will finish what I started at Zaude."

Did Sodia just ignore him? She never talked over him like that. Not that he really minded too much, but Sodia was generally too polite to do such a thing. And there was Zaude again... "Sodia, what..?" Flynn asked, looking from Yuri to his Second in Command in confusion.

Yuri jumped off the windowsill, placing his hand on his hip and keeping his eyes on Sodia. "So this is the resolve you've found?" he asked her.

"Yes," she responded, not backing down.

"Alright then," Yuri said, his smile dark. "I'll keep that in mind."

"Would someone mind explaining what you're talking about?" Flynn asked, annoyance at being completely ignored getting the better of him.

"Permission to return to my duties, Sir," Sodia asked, continuing to ignoring the question.

Whatever it was Flynn was missing, it was big. Big enough for Sodia to break her own code and not even acknowledge Flynn's question, which he had never seen her do before, not to him. But it was obvious that neither she nor Yuri were going to tell him. Flynn sighed in frustration, hanging his head with raised shoulders as he resolved to question Lady Estellise more thoroughly about the events at Zaude. He looked back up at her, finally saying, "You're dismissed."

She saluted and turned to go, but Flynn didn't want her to leave like this. "Sodia," he said, trying to come up with something else to say to her. Simple was probably the best bet, considering what he did understand of that conversation. She wanted to protect him. "Thank you."

Her eyes widened, and she bowed politely before fleeing out the door.

Flynn took a deep breath, letting the tension release from his shoulders as he turned back to Yuri. "Are either of you ever going to tell me what happened?" he pleaded.

"Maybe," Yuri said, not meeting his eyes. "It's her call."

Flynn sighed again, letting the gentle breeze take away the last of his tension. Yuri still hadn't looked at him, his eyes tracing the bookshelf with his body slightly tilted away, and Flynn knew Yuri wasn't very fond of books. He stepped forward, brushing a leaf out of Yuri's hair and kissing the strands before letting it slip through his fingers, delighting in gaining both a blush and eye contact.

"Tell me you'll eventually get bored of doing that," Yuri asked, covering the blush with exasperation.

"Not a chance," Flynn responded. "But I do have to work today."

He tried to sound stern instead of sad, but he'd admit it wasn't his best bluff. He gave up the pretenses, letting it turn to a ridiculous hopefulness. "I could come by this evening though?" After that conversation with Sodia, he needed to unwind, and spending the evening with Yuri would help.

"That's why I came by," Yuri said, his smile slightly pained. "Judy and Karol picked up a new job in Halure. Rita apparently wants to check out Kiev Moc's Aer Krene. The spirits have been having some trouble there."

"So you're leaving?" Flynn asked, unable to hide the disappointment on his face. It didn't matter if Rita Mordio and Brave Vesperia going in to check things out would probably make Flynn's life easier in the long run, because he trusted them to find out the heart of the problem that had so far eluded Witcher and the rest of the Knights. It meant Yuri was leaving again, and possibly running away. The bridge they had managed to build was still too shaky.

"For a few days."

And would Yuri come back at the end of those few days, or would he run off again, trying to sacrifice his own feelings for what he thought was best for Flynn? Part of him almost wanted to follow Yuri back to where the rest of Brave Vesperia was waiting and ask them to drop Yuri off here afterward. He knew how well that would go over with Yuri, though. Still, if worst came to worst, Flynn could always track Yuri down later.

"Shouldn't keep them waiting," Yuri said, turning to leave.

Flynn moved without thinking, his arms slipping around Yuri's waist as he pulled the dark-haired man back against his chest. "Flynn!" Yuri yelled as he tried to twist his head back to see him.

Flynn rested his head against Yuri's shoulder, feeling instead of seeing the blush creeping up Yuri's neck. He closed his eyes, sighing contentedly into Yuri's hair, and relishing the feel of Yuri's back against his chest.

Fidgeting in the embrace, Yuri tried unsuccessfully to look at Flynn. "The others are waiting," he said in exasperation.

"Just let me stay like this for a little while," Flynn pleaded, needing the comfort after seeing Sodia's tears and knowing this was the only chance he could get it for a while. "Please."

Yuri stilled. "You sure about this?" he asked quietly.

"I told you last night," Flynn growled, wrapping his arms tighter around Yuri and kissing his neck gently before continuing. "And I'm not going to change my mind. Stop asking."

"Alright, jeez. You're pushy today. And you're the one who calls me stubborn," Yuri grumbled, but he leaned back into Flynn. "Just for a little while. It's not like I won't come back."

As the wind danced across his cheek, followed by Yuri's fingers faintly tracing its path, Flynn knew they'd work things out somehow. He'd make sure of it. Commandant Flynn Scifo, a boy from the lower quarter, vowed to be worthy of both Yuri and Sodia, and the trust his Highness had put in him. Yuri had finally caught up with him, and he wasn't going to let Yuri leave him behind now. Flynn was going to make the warmth from his half-remembered dreams a reality, even if he had to make the world change again to do it.


~FINI~

Mem: Like I said, not sure how well that worked as a protest, but it was fun to write.  I apparently need to write more knight characters, because that whole hand-kissing chivalry thing Flynn had going on was way more fun to write than it should be.  Even when they were arguing, I just wanted to snuggle them and squee over how cute it was.  -_-;;;  Feel free to let me know what you think!

The quote this time around just makes me think of both Yuri and Flynn.  <3

Quote of the Fic:

"Kites rise highest against the wind, not with it."
-Winston Churchill

Comments

( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
skittled
Aug. 3rd, 2012 05:19 am (UTC)
I have no idea why there aren't comments on this or the first part, but I loved this. It's hard to find fics that are both well-written and in-character. You got it spot-on with Yuri's reluctance and Flynn's determination (and inability to cook ;) ).

Thanks for writing this!
dragonofmemory
Aug. 3rd, 2012 04:48 pm (UTC)
Thanks! And don't feel too badly for it, since the fic has gotten a lot more attention over at ff.net. I just figured the lj Vesperia com was less talkative. XD

I'm glad you thought they were in character. To be honest, I wrote most of this after only one play through, so I was a bit anxious about the characterization. This fic definitely gave me some first hand experience with Flynn's determination though. He really wouldn't leave me alone, even when the fic was supposed to be about Sodia, and demanded his way or the highway. -_-;;; Still, I suppose it worked out in the end, even if it was a hell of a lot longer than the fic was supposed to be.

I'm glad you enjoyed reading, and thanks again for taking the time to comment!
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )