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Title: Sea Level
Author: [personal profile] lavendre
Fandom: Tales of Zestiria
Characters/pairing: Rose/Lailah
Prompt: Sappho #12
Rating: all audiences
Word Count: 476

Notes: Shameless sappy pairing fic.

.

may you sleep on the breast of your delicate friend

.

“I know it’s stupid, but I’m mad. I’m so mad. I want to throttle him.”

Lailah’s arm stretched over the curve of Rose’s shoulder and returned with a fresh napkin. “That’s alright to feel that way,” she said kindly. “I think he only pushed your buttons because he knew you would respect him for it.”

Rose blew her nose. “No no no -- that’s not it. I think he wanted to piss me off. If he could push me away in those final moments -- I think he thought he was saving me.”

“Well.” Lailah slumped back into the pillows, Rose following. She felt the prickle of sleep stirring in her arms. “Sorey has always thought very highly of you, for good reason, Rose. You’re very insightful. And kind. He wanted you to make it.”

“Yeah,” Rose sighed. “What a jerk.”

Lailah laughed against her forehead before pulling the quilt further up their shoulders. Rose’s hair was still damp from her bath, warm smelling like the fragrant soap stalls in Lastonbell. It had been at least an hour since she’d crawled into bed to draw Rose out from under the covers, and now she was trying to tuck her away again. “I know it’s hard to understand his perspective, but try to consider his character... Sorey isn’t confrontational.”

“I know. It’s easier to ask for forgiveness than permission? Don’t worry -- I’m not genuinely mad. Just. Vaguely mad, I guess. I’m mad... after the fact.” She gestured in the half space between them, then stopped.

“Right.” Lailah squeezed her shoulder. “You’ll be okay. You’ll manage. And, well. I’m here too, if you need me. Prime Lord. And all that.”

“Well... I’ll try not to need you, but I do feel better with you here.” She strung their calves together for emphasis.

“Well! I like being here. I’d like to stick around.”

“You’d like to stay on a crying girl’s bed? Lady Lailah,” she taunted, voice hoarse. Lailah tugged on a loose strand of hair, trying not to laugh. It curled around her finger obediently, a vine around a trellis.

“Don’t try to derail me. I think you’re worrying over something you don’t need to. You’re perfectly capable. Sorey’s absence isn’t something you can hold yourself responsible for. Please remember that.”

Rose leaned into the cheery warmth of her palm, trapping her hand against the pillow. “Yeah. But I know that I’m not going to handle things the way Sorey would have. I don’t want to be a disappointment.”

“Aw, Rose. Every shepherd handles their duty a little differently! And that’s a good thing, I promise you.”

“But how do you know?”

She winked and enveloped her in a hug. “Wisdom and experience. And among other things, sometimes I can read the future.” She kissed her damp hair. “Your future looks bright.”

Rose hiccuped mid-laugh. She’d trust in the cards.
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