companion

Apr. 29th, 2017 12:03 am
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Title: companion
Fandom: Final Fantasy XIV
Prompt: 090. companion
Pairing: Aymeric/Durae (WoL)/Estinien
Words: 804 words

companion

Alphinaud is absolutely certain that there is something going on between Estinien and Durae.

What that is, however, he hasn’t yet put his finger on. He likens it to a dance, with the two of them slowly circling around the other as it builds up into a gradual, yet powerful, crescendo. There’s been aborted gestures on Durae’s part and there’s always something soft in Estinien’s voice when he speaks of or to him.

The worst is that he’s certain that Ysayle knows. And yet, no matter how he needles and prods her, she says nothing. Instead, she smiles – one tinged with sadness – and shakes her head.

“That is for the two of them to share, not I,” she says. And that’s all she will say on the matter; it’s frustrating.

So, Alphinaud takes to watching them closely.

Durae makes no secret of his affection for Estinien, that much is certain. And Alphinaud wonders whether he imagined the intimacy, then, between him and Aymeric. But he’s absolutely sure that’s not the case.

It burns on the tip of his tongue. Alphinaud knows that if he just came out and asked that Durae would tell him – the man is painfully honest, sweet to a fault, and the best man that Alphinaud has ever known. But that somehow feels like a… not a violation, per se, but a cheat. He must figure this out for himself.

He goes to gather wood, one night, and the thread tied to his finger tugs.

Oh.

It hits him like a bolt of levin. Of course. How could he have been so blind? It was staring him in the face the entire time.

Soulmates.

Alphinaud had never thought – Durae had never made mention of his string or of anyone else. So, he had simply assumed that they had not met. And there hadn’t – but no, Alphinaud realizes, that isn’t true.

He replays each moment in his mind, looking for details that he missed the first time.

The lingering glances, the casual touches, the private meetings. Durae’s seeming inability to refer to Aymeric as anything but his name. The way that Estinien’s mouth thinned.

It had been so glaringly obvious. And he had missed it.

Looking at his hands, at the wood gathered there, Alphinaud realizes that he had been so caught up in himself that he never realized that his dear friend had found the matches to his soul. He had been so focused on his duty, on what he felt was right for the future of Eorzea, that he hadn’t taken the time to pay attention to the little things.

It all clicks into place now.

Yet… they do not act like any bonded pair that Alphinaud has ever known. Then again, he admits, he has never met nor heard of such a thing as a triad bond. It’s unusual, perhaps something new.

His dim memories of his parents do little to help him fill in the blanks. But he has enough observations to know that Estinien and Durae, at the very least, do not act like they’re soulmates. It… makes a painful amount of sense, however, when he recalls Estinien’s words from the night before.

Perhaps there is no room in Estinien’s heart for a soulmate. In which case, Alphinaud’s own aches for Durae, who he knows would never ask for more than Estinien is willing to give. It pains him to think of his friend being rejected; his dear friend who has suffered and bled more than any he has known and never once complained.

If anyone deserves peace, it is Durae.



Given the dangers of the Churning Mists, Alphinaud is no longer permitted to seek out firewood on his own without an escort.

Surprisingly enough, Estinien volunteers.

The words tumble out without him thinking them through, “You and Durae are soulmates, yes?”

Estinien freezes, mouth thinning into a line. It takes time before he responds, his voice tight, “We are.”

“Yet… I cannot help but notice you do not act like any bonded pair I have ever met.”

“There are more important matters at stake than those of… our hearts,” Estinien hesitates on the last two words. “Durae and I both recognize that. As does Aymeric.”

“Ah, I was correct in assuming then that the three of you share a bond?”

“We each must do our duty. I am sworn to Ishgard’s defense and will do what must be done to ensure its safety. Durae knows this. He has accepted it.”

As he has accepted me, goes unsaid, but Alphinaud hears it echoing in the silence that follows.

“Then I must pray that our negotiations on the morrow bear fruit,” Alphinaud says quietly. “I would be much heartened after all we have been through to see my companions happy.”

“We will see.”

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