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Feudal Hearts



February 25th, 2016

Letters from Home

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No one on the kitchen staff expected an standard morning, after the return of everyone from the keep. Breakfast was served late, and then to only a partially-filled room. Private trays were in abundance and being summoned at all hours of the morning, inconsistently, and lots of toast for hung-over nobles. Hayner arrived late himself, asking for two trays, full of toast and eggs and sausage. Breakfast in bed for his hung-over Lord. He was going to feed him, and then tuck him back into bed until Roxas was ready to face the day. They'd had a lovely night (Roxas had an AMAZING lack of gag reflex when he was drunk) and now Hayner was happy to do what he did best - take care of his best friend.

Late morning trays were also called to the Prince's room. Less toast, but still a hearty amount of food. With concern for Sora's arm, Riku had insisted that they make love the same way that they had at the keep, promising that he'd let Sora take him on his back on their wedding night - something to look forward to!

They'd woken up late, and cuddled lazily until hunger finally drove them from the bed. That was when they finally ordered up breakfast.

"What are you plans for today, Sora?" Riku asked, putting a little jam and button on his biscuit. His tea was subtly spiked again with the same stuff Sora had ordered for him the first time. No one would know.

December 5th, 2014

Return of our fair ladies and gents

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It took two more weeks to receive a quick letter from the mountain keep, straight to the King informing him that the citizens of Balamb were ready. Packed, cleaned up, and ready to make the trek back home, either to Ferndale where they joined the party so many months ago, or back to their homes in hollow bastion, or to the castle itself to their old rooms that had been vacated of soldiers and cleaned for their arrival.

Sora was glad, that the castle would come alive again. In days past, he hadn't seen much life in his castle or city, when he was a young man and before his eyes were opened this last year. Coming back to this empty and torn city and home was hard for him, but with repairs moving along steadily, with the two days he'd spent with Riku overseeing the cleanup in the city, he saw the wreckage cleaned away and it was almost like the castle was new, and ready to be settled once again.

The Prince was glad that he was there at receiving hours, at the end of the day, when the letter came. He could barely wait, sitting anxiously in his Father's study for him to finish his own letter giving the OK to return. He excused himself to run (well, he wasn't QUITE running yet but he could walk normally now, no limp needed) to meet with Riku and tell him. They had only three days to make sure the ladies rooms were ready, the make sure the stables were ready for the influx of horses. To make sure they were back up to proper stock of food for the castle, and especially to have a huge dinner for the arrival of the ladies and noblemen back to the castle. The real feast would come at the Prince's Autumn tournament in a few weeks, this was a small celebration.

Of course, it wasn't just that. The guardsman barracks were rearranged to accommodate the visiting Trabian soldiers. No one was quite sure how long they'd be staying. A few weeks, heading back before winter set in? Or settling down until the spring for a long stay? Sora wasn't quite as concerned about that right now.

Everyone was coming home. His Sister, his Aunt, his cousins. Abe, his court. Conrad and Lady Belle. Riku's brother and sister. However they dispersed after that, his Aunt and Uncle and cousins back to Twilight town, Abe back home to Ferndale, Corin and Namine back to their native Trabia, Belle home to Mire and Conrad to Caloria. Even if they all left eventually for their own paths, they would be together here and now. The Prince couldn't wait. The expected arrival was at sundown, an hour or so from now, and he needed to find out what he should do. Ride out to meet them just outside the city? From the foot of the castle hill? Stand at the gates? In the courtyard? Stay in the throne room? So...could Riku come with?

That was why he was hurrying down the hall into the throne room where his parents were sitting, finishing up their duties here, and sneaked in while they were still talking to someone to perch on his own throne impatiently.

June 16th, 2012

Talking to Daddy

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Squall was in his office, working, savoring his last cup of the coffee for the evening. His wife liked to insist on a limit on the coffee after dinner, or he would never sleep. He was working on ways to get support to the city, and out to the countryside. It was busy, important work. And kept his mind off the meeting that he was going to have with his son.

Oh, Sora. Squall hadn't forgotten the act Sora had done this afternoon. That... overt, bold move. And the following questions from important men who had noticed. There was no way that Squall or Sora, or anyone could take it back.

And that really annoyed Squall. This wasn't done on HIS terms. Sora had forced their hand by bringing Riku to lunch. Riku couldn't be put back in a box. By all rights, Squall should punish them both! Send Riku away. Reduce Sora's freedoms. SOMETHING.

But... Squall couldn't do that. He couldn't put Sora back in that position of child. Sora was an adult. If he was going to make these bold and sometimes DANGEROUS moves, he had to accept the fallout for them.

December 29th, 2011

Mission: Lunch

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Inspite of the fact that Riku got to live closer and more at ease with Sora at the Keep, there was something really wonderful about being home. It was Sora's bed that they fell asleep in, curled up together, holding each other. It was the Sora's bathroom where Riku washed up in the morning, not having to worry about the ladies using it. It was the familiar places his clothes were kept in the Prince's wardrobe. They took breakfast in the sitting room where ora had given Riku the star sapphire pendant for Yule, and where Riku practiced his reading on slow days. The Keep was nice, but their life together was to be here.

Which was why Riku was so very adamant at being positive about lunch in the Great Hall. It would be his first time there not acting in his capacity as servant. He was nervous, but he was trying to turn it into positive energy.

"Are you sure this is not too much?" Riku asked again about what he was wearing. Oh if only he was allowed to sit beside Sora, this would be much easier. As long as he wasn't kicked out though, he was sure he could get through it.

"Will your Uncle be there?" That would help even more.

October 6th, 2011

Home at last and time to celebrate! Or sleep.

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The Prince of Balamb slept like a rock right between the warm bodies of his two parents. He couldn't recall the last time he'd slept in their bed. He must have been small, perhaps run down to their room after a nightmare, or fell asleep on his Mother or Father and simply been carried to bed with them instead of up to his own room. He didn't dream at all, just felt peaceful.

Unfortunately with his body as it was and the rough traveling from the previous day, he woke late morning in a significant amount of pain. Everything ached and felt stiff, and some things felt sharply painful. The Prince tried to roll over but it just hurt far too much. Eventually he buried his face against the pillow that was under his head and made a rather pitiful noise that wasn't quite crying but wasn't a lot better.

He didn't want to move anymore, that was for sure. He just wanted it to stop hurting!

September 13th, 2011

Going Home

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Riku rode slowly down the road on Rigel, breathing in the fresh air. The grass on either side was dead and brown from numerous soldiers and horses going that way, but if he looked close, there were tiny new shoots coming up.

It had been three weeks since the battle at the keep, and while many of the ladies and civilians were remaining there for a few more days under the guidance and protection of the Princess, her Aunt, and the Lady Princess's son, Riku and his Prince were heading home to Hollow Bastion. With them was an escort of ten Trabians, ten Balamb soldiers, and a couple of servants.

The past three weeks had been very long for Riku. He's spent the first week attending all the Prince's meetings for him, writing down notes when he had to, and reporting back to his Beloved. The Prince was allowed time to recover, though before the first week was out he'd made a few public appearances and spoke to the public. The evenings were short, and both Riku and Sora slept deeply and heavily.

The second week was divided in Riku's memory between more meetings and helping the Prince heal; walking around him him and keeping his body as active as they dared so that his body didn't become too weak. It was in the second week that Hayner and Roxas were kicked out of the room for too much horseplay. Obviously, they'd been kept indoors too long, and were put to better use in the camp.

The third week, it was decided that they should return to Hollow Bastion to help where they could. The early days in the week were devoted to getting the Prince back on the horse and packing.

"Alright, Your Majesty?" Riku asked the Prince riding beside him. If they needed to stop for the Prince to rest awhile, they needed to stop. They moved at Sora's pace today.

June 27th, 2011

In it to win it!

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The Prince of Balamb could not remember being so scared of anything in his life. He knew it was only natural, and so even though he was afraid, it was a docile fear that didn't seem to affect him. All of his men moved into position easily, just as they had discussed. Just before the Balamb soldiers and Trabian archers left the gates for the lake shore and hillside, the Prince stood amongst all the fighting men and spoke. A speech he had been preparing for weeks now. This is Balamb. This is our home. No one can take it from us. Our Trabian brothers have come to help us defend our lives, our people, our country. We will never let the Galbadians take what is ours.

The Prince watched from one of the towers as the large doors were closed behind their soldiers, and watched as those soldiers took their positions. He watched the Trabian archers position themselves on the wall, and did not look for Riku as his beloved told him. He watched, in the distance, as the Galbadian army began to blanket the valley. The Prince watched as the mountain stronghold saw the beginning of it's first battle while Galbadians squeezed through the narrow area around the lake under a rain of arrows and a charge from the hillside. There would be many bodies in the lake come morning.

The Prince was escorted off the tower before the Galbadian army came within arrow range. He silently wished Riku to be brave, shoot strong and well, and protection. Sora remained on the grounds behind the wall, now clear of the rows of army tents it had previously been home to. Now it would be a battlefield. Conrad at his side, he was receiving word via soldiers running back and forth from General Rotharr's post in the tower commanding his men, to report to the Prince and General Weller how the battle was going.

June 17th, 2011

Boy will be...

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It was really a wonder to Philip sometimes, that the Prince and his companion didn't notice the rotation of his guards. How certain ones were more likely to be found by their sides in the mornings and evenings, with all showing for the middle of the day when the boys were most active and in most need of extra protection.

Especially with the upcoming attack, it had been decided that they needed to keep as many eyes on the boys during the active part of the day than at night. So only one of them stood watch through the night. Barty had drawn that lot, being that his primary care was to the Prince's companion, and since Riku was so often with others who had guards, it was Barty who got night watch.

"Good morning," Philip greeted Barty, the first one to arrive, as usual, for the shift change. "How did they sleep?" Since Riku, there'd been far fewer nightmares for the Prince. But now and then, one snuck in.

May 5th, 2011

Looking for a Brother

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After the Prince's episode, Riku was perfectly content to stay near home for the next few days. He studied hard, went to all the meetings he could with the Prince, attended all meals faithfully, met with Lord Ryder and introduced him to the Prince... and then subjected his courtier-possible to the Prince's sister and the ladies. He was exactly where he needed to be, when he needed to be.

And it was driving Corin crazy.

He sent his brother three different messages to come and see him at camp. And each time Riku sent a short message back that he was regretfully unable to. That he was busy.

What on earth could the companion of a Prince be BUSY with? Aside from the obvious.

So, during his extended break between training, drill, and duty, to go and find his brother. Only to be told that he was busy. BUSY! And couldn't see him. So he asked... as nicely as possible, to see the Prince instead. Who was available.

April 15th, 2011

I work hard for the money

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The day after the Prince's birthday, Riku attended all the meetings he needed to with his Beloved, and then went and found his brother. Sora was working so hard on the upcoming fight, Riku just felt like he needed to be productive too. And what better thing to focus on, than gaining his and his sister's freedom?

Riku started out his days having breakfast with the Prince and his family, followed by meetings. An hour or two of lessons until lunch, but then the Prince was busy with other things. And Riku dismissed the guards, went and changed his clothes, and slipped into the Trabia camp. He looked just like them, no one even asked any questions.

As fighting approached, there was more work to do, less time for the soldiers to do it, and a high demand for servants. For someone like Riku to make some extra money by hauling water, chopping and carrying wood, tending horses, mending saddles and horse tackle, polishing shoes, fashioning arrows, and every kind of chore.

Riku sometimes missed dinner, instead grabbing something in the Trabian camp, and wandered back to his room after changing back, took a bath, and fell asleep like the dead next to the Prince or before he even came to bed.

But his little pile of coins in his dresser with his clothing was slowly growing.

February 6th, 2011

Happy Birthday to You

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Riku woke up early on the morning of the Prince's birthday. He wanted to kiss and snuggle the Prince awake, but he didn't want to wake him so early. So Riku slipped out of their bed carefully, dressed, and pet Terra on the head on his way out when she lifted her head to look at him.

He went down to the kitchen, and in a few hours returned to his room carrying their breakfast on a tray that had a little vase with a couple of yellow flowers tucked into it. Riku set the tray on the nightstand and crawled back onto the bed, wrapping his arms around the Prince.

"Sora," he whispered, and kissed the Prince's neck. "Sora, wake up my love."

January 15th, 2011

Wait...what's going on?

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The Princess was glad it was a nice day. She intended to go out all day with her ladies, even hitch up their skirts and splash in the water, and have a picnic outside.

It was on the way out that she spotted Namine with Riku. The Prince was busy with receiving and meetings. The Princess insisted that they come along.

Namine spent most of her time with Riku, and the Princess spent most of her time running about with the other ladies. It was only during the picnic they all sat together.

December 17th, 2010


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Riku's second meeting with Corin went a lot better that his first. And the third even better. By the fifth time he spoke with him, he was ready to admit that Corin was very, very likely his brother, and called him so, with some hesitance.

The afternoon with Namine AND Corin went well in part mostly thanks to Namine, who kept them laughing with her charm and wit. Riku had to admit that he was very glad she'd been there. It was have been difficult for him to find something to talk about that wasn't heavy if it was just him and Corin.

It was the archery lessons that bonded them the most. Corin was appalled at Riku's inability to even hold a bow, and began working on that right away. A few lessons, and even though Riku was no where near GOOD, he could actually aim now.

"We should shoot for a prize," Riku teased the Prince as they walked out to the range so that Riku could show off what he'd learned. "Winner gets to have his back washed?" Or something similar?

December 9th, 2010

Long lost baby brother

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Riku had managed to put Le Juillet out of his mind MOSTLY... mostly. He had to focus on his lesson enough that he didn't think about him until after his lesson was over. He wanted to see Namine, but, knowing that she's seen Le Juillet, he didn't want to talk to her. He didn't want to expect anything and be disappointed.

So really, curling up with his cat in his room and trying to read quietly was his best option. And then, when that got boring, he went and visited with the horses. That was a nice work out, and by the time he was done, Orion practically reflected light.

Then he went back to his room and took an early bath so that he wouldn't smell like horses, and jumped his Prince when he came back, play wrestling with him on the floor until he was absolutely exhausted. The Prince was such a good sport.

As dinner got closer, Riku helped the Prince dress for the occasion and dressed himself and went with him to dinner.

"Where are we meeting him?" Riku asked quietly over dinner. Le Juillet. He just assumed the Prince had arranged all that.

December 5th, 2010

Come in for a chat!

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Well he wasn't THAT late. Besides, there was a notice given at breakfast that the Prince would have hours two hours later than usual. So Sora felt quite on schedule when he parted with Riku and left for the throne room with a sweep of his cloak. He would probably cut out today's 'Prince only' time to make up for the work, but he was alright with that. It had been SO worth it.

"Good morning," he said the the door guards as they opened the side door for him. He didn't enter through the heavy wooden doors at the front where the people lined up to speak to the Herald for a chance to speak with the Prince. Sora sat down on the King's throne, glad that it had been padded with animal fur and a few pillows. When you had to sit in it for two hours, it was nice.

The Prince took a deep breath and called for the first person to be sent in. Today should go smoothly.

November 19th, 2010

Trabians Talk

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Balamb, or rather, the royal family of Balamb... they had Trabian servants. Corin le Juillet hadn't seen them for himself, but he'd heard about them. Well... they were suspected of being Trabian, but that wasn't the point! So far, he'd hear rumors of three young women who's fair features probably meant they were Trabian. One worked in the kitchens, one worked in the laundry, and the other was said to follow the Princess about.

"How do you think they got all the way over here?" Corin asked his friend as they walked along the top of the outer wall on their watch. "I mean, realistically. What good reason would a young Trabian woman have for being this far over the mountains, and enter a life of servitude. Do you think they've got families in Balamb? Whole, transplanted little Trabian families?"

October 30th, 2010

Help has arrived...?

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The sunsets were beautiful. Waking up in the arms of the one you love, eating with your family, spending time with your sister. Those were all things the Prince was enjoying right now.

It was the meetings. The paperwork. The planning. The organizing. The orders. Making decisions. Writing announcements. Practicing the sword. Making appearances. Checking on the people. Solving problems. Not being able to solve problems. Taking care of Abe. All of this was stressing him out. He was beginning to find a hard time balancing the quiet moments he got with the work. The Prince began to dread that life as King would be much worse. He found himself slightly worried that Riku would not be able to pick up the duties he would need to. Right now he was trying his best, but he wasn't able to really help with the biggest sources of stress for the Prince. Adding on top was the letters from home. They only seemed to get worse. The Galbadian soldiers were coming closer and closer to Hallow Bastion. There was no word yet on whether they had any plans for the Mountain stronghold, or if they even knew where it was.

The Prince had started scheduling himself an hour alone every day, without anyone at all. He would climb the stairs to the tower that overlooked the front gate of the fortress. There he would sit and look out across the lake, the valley, and down the mountain. One guard was allowed with him, but he was not allowed to speak or make any noise unless necessary.

Today he sat there after a lunch that he had spent alone with Riku. After a half hour, he saw a horse approaching that wasn't the usual messenger. They were dressed as a soldier, but not a Balambite one, or a Galbadian one. "Guard," Sora spoke up. "It appears someone out of the ordinary is approaching."

August 26th, 2010

at the keep - cont.

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The Prince immediately took advantage of the ability to cuddle up against his beloved in the privacy of his room. He wrapped his arms around Riku’s middle and held on. “I am glad you are not afraid, for I am often terrified.” He tried his best to have confidence in Balamb, confidence in his Father and confidence in himself. He would never show less in front of anyone. That was why he was so grateful for Riku. For there to be at least one person for him to admit he was scared. “Terrified and doubtful, and worried. I suppose it is what makes me feel the most stressed.” He REALLY believed in his Father, but as of right now, he didn’t fully believe in himself yet, and he certainly did not really think any Trabians would come to help. He did not hold any hope in that, even if he tried to encourage it in others.

July 20th, 2010

Rowen's Roommates

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Rowen watched Sid leave and sighed. It did not matter that he'd been given the rest of the day to do with as it pleased him; he didn't know what on earth to do with the free time. It would have been different, if he'd been back home. He would have had things to do, and people to do them with. Here, he had no direct master to serve. No friends to talk to. All his wordly possessions dropped like a stone into the bottom of a wooden trunk, not even filling a fourth of it.

He was finally beginning to feel sick. He supposed that it was the shock of everything that took it so long to finally hit him. One day, eveything is fine. Its not necessarily great, but its normal, and its comfortable, and its finally really feeling like home after so many years. And then its gone. At a knight's whim and his master's desperation. It was so unfair Rowen could cry, or hit something.

As it was, the room was too full of people for that. He was already being starred at because he was new. Because he looked different. He didn't need people starring at him because they thought he might go suddenly violent on them.

So he left. Left all of his new clothes there on the bed assigned to him, and just left. He knew at least how to get himself to the stables and after skirting Ameadea's stall, he found Orion. "Hello, Orion," Rowen murmured, reached out to pet the white horse's nose. Do you remember me? We met earlier today. I'm going to be taking care of you now in the mornings, startng tomorrow. I hope we will become friends."

July 9th, 2010

Fire, Luck, Purity

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The sun was going down, and fires were being lit everywhere. The lanterns around the grounds meant to give light to continue the festivities, especially to light the dance floor.

As people noticed the lanterns and torches being lit, everyone suddenly started to migrate in one direction, murmuring excitedly.

Sora was distracted by eating something that was good, and didn't quite notice that he should be going somewhere right now.
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