Chrom walked about the camp, making his rounds. His mind was elsewhere, among dark tresses and the twinkle of copper brown eyes. The sweet sound of her laugh was in his ears and the beauty of her smile shone, lighting his way. He exhaled shaking his head, frustrated at the situation he was in. He would see her all the time and it would rouse excitement in him, a passion he'd never known and wasn't capable of understanding. When she wasn't near he could still see her in every person, and hear her in every voice he heard.
"Hey Blue." a voice came as a hand touched his shoulder. "Why so glum?"
"What?! Oh... hey Gaius..." he looked down after he'd turned. "I'm fine, just distracted."
"Gaius!" Saphire's voice was happy and shrill as she approached the red head and gave him a hug. Chrom's eyes widened as his cheeks became crimson. He turned away and inhaled deeply, in a feeble attempt to regain his composure. Without further thought he began to walk away. "Chrom?" he heard the voice of the one he'd missed, question. He stopped in his tracks, frozen in fear.
"Blue where are you going? Bubbles is with us. We can keep you company. I'm sure this is boring..."
"I..." cerulean eyes found her shoes, looking up her shapely legs to her robes, hips and waist. He gulped and went up to her face. She was smiling, looking as if nothing about being with him affected her. "I" his voice caught in his throat until he gulped, "I need to go..."
Chrom was gone before they could say much else. Tears came to her eyes as she sniffled. Watching him run from her crushed her to her very core. She trembled as sadness overtook her normally pleasant demeanor, as his indigo hair disappeared from sight.
"He.. hates me now..." she whispered "I don't know what I did. Or what happened, but he can't stand the sight of me..."
Gaius was confused. He'd never seen Chrom nor Saphire behave this way. Saphire was in tears and he came and allowed his arms to encircle her. "Bubbles. Don't be sad. He's under a lot of stress. I'm sure he doesn't hate you."
"He runs when he sees me..."
His grip tightened and he turned to look at her delicate features. His fingers ran down her soft skin causing an electrifying sense to come through him. Gaius enjoyed her presence so much, that he was happiest when he was with her. "Sweet Gem." he kissed her hair. "Chrom could never hate you. There must be something bothering him, and he just can't talk about it."
"I thought he was close to me. He said there were no secrets between us. How can he keep something from me." she sobbed turning into him. "I don't have many friends Gaius. Chrom was the first to trust me and we..." Saphire remembered her moments with the prince. "I feel so alone. I've lost. My best friend."
Gaius, unable to stand seeing her suffer pulled her head up, "Let me talk to him. I'll see if I can find out what's wrong and if I can get him to come talk to you," he smiled bringing his fingers to brush away her tears, "A pretty face like yours shouldn't cry. So please don't Bubbles..."
Saphire pulled away and giggled a brief moment through her tears. With a sigh she started walking towards her tent, "Tell me how it goes. I'll be waiting."
His emerald gaze upon her as she disappeared he realized that if he didn't find a solution they would both be unhappy. She valued Chrom's friendship and if Chrom avoided her she hurt and Gaius couldn't stand to see her in such a state without knowing why. He picked up the pace, his boots gently stepping upon the dirt, following the trail left behind by the blue eyed prince.
Chrom sat at the riverbank, smooth stone sliding between his fingers. The stream of water sounding like her laughter in his ears. The evening sky the blackness of her hair and the stars, the twinkle in her eye. He couldn't stop thinking about her even now, even in his fear Chrom could think only of Saphire. She was important, she was special and most of all, she was his closest and most precious friend.
"How fitting should the one I hold most dear be named after a precious stone..." he said skipping a stone into the babbling river. "I don't know what it is about you, you're the most amazing person I've ever met. So strong and yet so kind and gentle. You're so genuine and innocent and I want nothing more than to keep you with me all the time." Air pushed through his pink lips in a sigh, "What does it mean? I see you and feel you everywhere I go. I can't stop thinking about you and yet when you're near me, I seize up, I freeze and I lose all my senses. I can't be around you without turning into a fool and I can't stay away because the distance drives me to madness. Saphire, I wish I could explain or tell you this. I wish I could seek your sound advice and guidance, because I trust your thoughts, you always give me the right answers and the best way to go." Standing Chrom began to walk along the bank, "You would tell me what these feelings mean, and what to do and your advise would be so sound that one would be foolish not to heed it."
Gaius had heard the footsteps and headed in that direction, the river covered up Chrom's words but he could hear the voice, "How can I ask you when the issue I have is with you?"
"BLUE!" Gaius called and Chrom turned. "What are you doing here? You just left like we were a nuisance? You really upset Saphire... what is wrong with you?"
Chrom frowned, "I am still the prince of Ylisse Gaius, I would watch my tone if I were you."
"Bull. You're hurting her, she was in tears when you left, I don't care who you are but when you bring her pain I will not stand by and just let you cast her off like she's nothing!" His face was red with anger. "Chrom, I thought you cared about Saphire, yet you're letting her suffer."
"I..." Chrom felt tears stinging his eyes, "It's not like that. I'm dealing with something and I can't talk to her. I don't want her to know about this. Yes, she is my best friend, I just can't bring myself to bring this to her."
"Why? What did she do?"
"It's not what she did..."
"Then what? She means so much to you and yet you're keeping secrets? Do you know how this will devastate her?"
"I know. I think her knowing this will hurt her more and hurt our relationship. I can't stand to lose her over this. I won't let it get worse because of how I feel."
"What is it then?" Gaius bit his lower lip to refrain from hitting him. "Saphire means a lot to me. What secret is there that she wouldn't be able to understand..."
Chrom sat down and looked out at the water, trying to compose himself and get the words right, "There's someone, that I can't stop thinking about. I see her everywhere, I think about her all the time. I feel her with me all the time even when she's not here. I close my eyes and I see the grace and beauty that is her."
"You're... in love..." Gaius plopped down shocked, leaves flying up as he landed, "You're in love with a woman and you think Saphire will be hurt if she found out." Chrom was quiet as he averted from Gaius' gaze, "If she knew she would feel detached from you, like she was being replaced. You don't want her to feel put out because of your feelings."
An owl hooted in the distance. Gaius' eyes stared intensely at Chrom. "It's so difficult to distance myself from her. I don't want to lose her but I don't want to damage our friendship..."
"Blue, I know what you're feeling. I... feel the same about someone that I don't think I could ever tell. I would rather keep my feelings secret than risk losing her."
"Yeah..." the prince's voice trailed, "You're right. I'm certain I'm in love and I need to tell her. The woman I love needs to know she is the one who stole my heart. Out of all the fear and loss she has been my light in darkness. I won't know if I don't tell her."
"That's courageous Blue. I... should tell her too... I mean, the girl I love. She needs to know how I feel." Gaius nodded, "Even if she doesn't feel the same, it's better than living in fear."
Chrom's brow knitted as he reflected upon these words. "After losing my parents and everything else. I don't want to lose someone else. If telling the woman I love will make me lose her I'd rather not know."
"Or she could love you back and you could finally have a life you want."
"I could say the same for you..."
"Alright. We're going to tell the women we love the truth. And you Blue are going to make up with Bubbles. She's worried about you and your relationship. It will give her peace of mind to know you're in love and scared." Gaius held Chrom's shoulder grinning and laughing with a shaking voice. "If anything she can help you make your relationship with this woman better."
"I feel terrible for doing this to her, but seeing her makes me want to run away, but I have to face her. I need to tell her that I'm in love from her and she is the only one for me... Then I will ask her to marry me if she agrees."
Gaius's heart sunk like a lead weight dragging him down. Chrom was in love with Saphire...his Bubbles. Gaius and Chrom, in love with the same woman. How could the thief compete? He didn't know who Saphire had feelings for but if she didn't love Chrom he had a chance. If she loved neither... Gaius realized if she could develop feelings for someone, the future King was a much better choice for her and her future.
"Blue, you love Saphire?" he asked and cleared his throat, "You know she's important to me. I don't want to see you hurt her..."
"No, never Gaius. I want to make her happy. I want to always see her smile. I would give anything for her and give anything up for her well being." Chrom's calloused hand found its way into his pouch, "I have this for her." The gleam of the moon caught the gold and sapphire sparkle of the ring in its midst, as he held it between his fingers angling it so his friend could see. "It was made for me to give to my future wife. The one I thought I'd never find."
Gaius could feel a lump in his throat. He couldn't listen to any more of this. Taking Chrom by the shoulder he began to guide him back towards the camp, "You should go think about how you're going to explain this to her and propose. I'll go talk to her now that way she doesn't worry."
"You don't think I should tell her now?" Chrom was a taken aback and confused.
"She's upset and needs time to calm down. I'll pacify her and she'll come see you after." Gaius assured him and continued to lead him back towards the camp.
The walk was quiet. Gaius was dealing with his own pain and Chrom the idea that he may be proposing to his best friend. When they reached Chrom's tent he patted the prince on the back. "Good luck Blue." he said, "I hope she won't be too angry when I speak to her."
"I'm sure it will be fine."
Gaius walked away, devastated, his mind heading in all sorts of directions. His thoughts and feelings for both Chrom and Saphire, Blue and Bubbles, just a mess. He loved her, cared for both of them and now he had to make the choice of who he would hurt. He had to go talk to her. He needed to find out what she felt before he went and admitted to her how he felt for her. Before he knew it he was in front of her tent and he pulled the flap, going inside. She was on her bed in tears reading a book, her legs curled up beneath her, her sobs shaking her tiny frame.
"Saphire…" he said, his voice loving.
"Gaius you're back. What happened?" She dried her eyes and put the book down maintaining her composure.
"Well," he paused, "… its complicated. I think you and Chrom need to talk and work it out. It will be fine. You two are good friends, and no matter what he says, I'm sure you'll always be there for him."
"Of course…" she agreed her voice distant, "Chrom means the most to me. I don't think I could ever see myself with another person." she replied innocently. "I've been trying to talk to him and he's just avoided me. I… " Her molten gold eyes washed over Gaius, "I wanted Chrom to be the first to know but, I'm in love…. I spent a long time struggling with these thoughts and feelings but I know for sure that I'm in love…" She stood and held her friend close, "And he's so close to me I can… I can feel him every time I close my eyes."
"Oh?" he questioned, holding her at arm's length, the hope he was feeling so well hidden, "Who is he? Do I need to beat him up?"
"I…" her face flushed as she smiled, "I'm in love with Chrom… I just thought I could never tell him. He's a prince and I'm nobody…"
"Stop that right now!" Gaius frowned and wagged his finger, "You ARE somebody and you Are important. If anything you're the most important person to me." he was determined not to let her put herself down like this, "If you truly love Chrom, then you need to tell him or regret it the rest of your life." sincerity and adoration in his emerald eyes. "Go tell him… Then let me know what he says…"
Saphire's gaze found her shoes and then went back up at her friend, "Alright…" she nodded. "I will try to give tell him. . ."
"That's a good girl," he taunted, rubbing her head like a child before sending her on her way. "I'll wait here for you…"
Saphire's footfalls could be heard through the encampment. Her shadow cast upon the other tents from the fire light. Her heart was beating rapidly as she repeated in her mind the words that came to her.
"I love you Chrom…" echoed through her thoughts. "I want to be with you forever."
She stopped dead in her tracks at the sight of his blue hair. So close yet so far away. He opened the flap of his tent and turned catching a glimpse of the raven haired woman he loved. The sight of her made him jump in shock and he hurried to retreat to privacy. She ran towards him and put her hands up to prevent him from closing the tent.
"Chrom I want to talk to you…" she exclaimed, her eyes wide she bat her eyes as her pink lips were parted, trying to catch her breath.
Time froze for the prince. Chrom was not in his right mind. She was here, but he wasn't ready. She wanted to be around him, and talk to him, and she was prepared to work this out but he wasn't. He needed to buy time before he offered his heart to her fully. In haste he did the only thing he could think of that he knew would keep her from forcing her way in. His blue eyes kind his hands rose to her shoulders, holding them gently before guiding her a few steps back, out of the entryway. She smiled, hope in her eyes as she watching him lovingly. His voice was firm and cold as he spoke to her.
"Go away Saphire. I don't want to talk right now." The cold hair could be felt where his hands had left. She was lost at his words and before she knew it the flap closed and he was gone. The Tactician dropped to her knees, tears flowing and sobs causing her body to tremble. Several of the guards had witnessed the scene and had maintained their gaze. She turned to face them silently ordering them to remain mum. The fact that this had been a public humiliation mortified her. Chrom had embarrassed her when all she wanted to do was confess her love. It wasn't long before she was hardening her demeanor and returning to her tent. Gaius waited and he simply lay upon the bed, trying to ignore his pain over the fact that the woman he loved, loved someone else. She entered without a word.
"How did it…"
"Don't ask…." she murmured sitting down beside him, "He doesn't want anything to do with me? Fine. I don't care…" She spoke for herself more than for him. Within moments she broke and sobbed into the pillow, "I love him and I can't be with him. It hurts more than anything in the world." she cried, "Gaius please just leave. I need to just fix this so I can be around him again. So that he at least won't avoid me anymore."
"I don't understand…" he murmured, knowing full well Chrom loved her back, "Saphire, Chrom…"
"Did not want to talk to me. He told me to go away…" She started hitting the pillow in frustration, "I … Gaius I need to be alone!" she screamed rising and forcing him from the room. Gaius wouldn't fight back. So he left confused and upset. Entering his own tent he tried to understand what had happened between the tactician and the prince.
Chrom had heard her screaming and went to see what the commotion was. After some brief thought he realized he'd been wrong to kick her out this way. Feeling terrible for his actions he walked to her lodgings and decided to apologize. He had a plan for her to read, he was going to use that as a guise to go see her and finally admit to her the truth…
"I hate him!" she could hear her throwing things and crashes of them landing upon the ground. "He is such a pain, avoiding me this way. I am going to leave once everything is over so I never have to see his face again!" She expressed words of fury that brought out things she did not mean.
Chrom stood back, her words stinging him like the burn of dragon's fire. She hated him. She wanted to leave. He shook his head knowing full well she was angry and hurt. "No. It can't be. She's angry at me for the way I've been acting. I can't take this at face value. But, I can't talk to her now. She frightens me when she's mad, even though she's adorable." soft flush came to his cheek. "I'll just leave this..." he placed the plan at the door for her and turned away.
"Chrom..." silky tones from his beloved filled his ears. Panic flooded his already clouded mind causing him to glance back and then rush to escape to his tent as if he had not heard her. "Chrom..." she whispered with the cry of a child, "I guess, he doesn't feel the same. He wants us to be general and tactician, and nothing more." Defeated, she sighed picking the parchment off the floor and returning to her bed.
"I guess it doesn't matter. Even if he still wanted to be my friend. It's better for both of us, he couldn't marry a tactician and lead an army while maintaining a relationship. I don't know what I was thinking..." She held the parchment up and read through the plan before falling asleep with it in her arms the scent of the man she loved making bringing a comfort that lulled her into sweet dreams.