rosage: (Dragon yuris)
Rosage ([personal profile] rosage) wrote in [community profile] femslashficlets2017-06-22 12:02 am

Shakespeare 9

Title: Kindling Water
Fandom: Fire Emblem: Awakening
Pairing: Sully/Miriel
Rating: G
Word Count: 731
Prompt: 9 Now is the winter of our discontent – Richard III
Summary: An experiment worries Miriel, giving Sully a chance to return a favor.
Note: For Faye, Max, and anyone looking to cool off on this summer solstice.

Ordinarily, training in the height of summer would be unbearable—at least, to anyone unable to take the heat like Sully can. Today, as she goes through her sets, bursts of wind chill her bare arms. They’ve been blowing from the direction of an old shed, and she’s too focused to look a gift horse in the mouth.

A crash and a thud send her running, her lance still in hand. She doesn’t know what to expect, but it isn’t Miriel sitting in the middle of a pile of rubble: rocks and metal, some broken, some intact. Sully slips on a patch of ice and curses in surprise.

“What in blazes happened, Miri?”

“Certainly not blazes. Mind your footing, please.” Despite the mess, Miriel is unruffled, her smooth face and hair only broken up by frost on her lashes. She doesn’t look up from the notes she’s scribbling.

“So this is a test, not some kind of ice bandit attack?”

“Indeed. I cannot yet go into detail, but in sum, one of water’s many curious properties is that it expands when frozen. It is because of this that water inside cracked rock can break it apart over time.”

Sully finally lets the tip of her lance drop as she steps around the wreckage. Standing behind Miriel, she squints at her notes, which even other mages see as chicken scratch. “Plain old water can defeat rocks, huh?”

“To use a combat metaphor, yes, though I don’t know that water can claim victory.”

“Looks like battle training to me,” Sully says, waving at the rubble.

“I am experimenting with the use of ice in combat. I’ve hypothesized it can break apart enemy equipment, or even forts.”

“Damn.” Her free elbow rests on Miriel’s shoulder. Even now it surprises her how pointy it feels under the robes. “Hey, if you figure it out a way to strip the enemy’s defenses, I could charge in and make quick work of ‘em.”

“Precisely.”

“So if you’re gonna test how it works on armor, you need a dummy to wear it, right?”

“I’d hoped you’d say that, although I’m only beginning. It’s too dangerous to use a human subject at this juncture.”

“Doesn’t usually stop you from testing your hypo-whatsits.”

“Doesn’t it?” Miriel’s face remains smooth, but her shoulders tense. Sully wraps her arm around them.

“What’s up, Miri?”

Miriel continues writing until the page is full, then takes a fresh page and begins doodling in the margins. By now Sully knows to wait. “This experiment has me pondering water’s many states.”

“Yeah?”

“For instance… Ice is sharp, frigid, and readily avoided. Some hole up in their abodes until it thaws.”

“Well, yeah, it’s…” Sully pauses to decode Miriel speak and bites her tongue. “Huh.”

Sully hadn’t really thought of Miriel as cold. Their relationship started after Miriel used water to turn a flame into an inferno, after all, and it hadn’t looked so different from Miriel on the battlefield. Somehow the flames she casts never burn the fringes of her hair, but it’s always a mess afterward, clumps sticking every which way and matting with sweat and blood to her skin. Washing it is the first thing she does once off duty.

She always washes off Sully, too, with hands as warm as the reassurance she once gave. But Sully doesn’t know how to say any of this without being corny, and she instead thinks about how Miriel showed her her own uses.

“In winter, ice can really mess a gal up, but you know…” Unable to scratch her neck, Sully scrapes the floor with her lance. “Ah, look, I can’t keep the metaphor talk going, but so what if you’re cold? Softies can’t plan battles. They’re not famous scholars. And I’d be buried under more than rubble if you didn’t know how to keep your cool on the field.”

Miriel’s doodles have looped around the outside of her sheet, closing a trail of sporadic squiggles with more orderly lines. She sets down her quill and leans against Sully. “I see the merit in what you’re saying.”

“Besides, I’ll be damned if everyone out working in that heat wouldn’t like a chunk of ice.”

Miriel’s lips quirk along with her eyebrow. “Were you planning to distribute me?”

“Nah,” Sully says, giving her a squeeze. “They’ll have to figure out how great you are for themselves.”

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