selenias: (Sheena)
[personal profile] selenias
Title: Halves
Author: [personal profile] lavendre
Fandom: Tales of Vesperia
Characters/pairing: Judith + Rita, preslash
Prompt: Sappho #2
Rating: all audiences
Word Count: 666 o__o

Notes: Some post canon bonding. There's a scene you can trigger between these two at some point after certain conditions are met, and in it they discuss Judith's father more personally. This is a little spin-off from that.

Some men say an army of horse and some men say an army on foot
and some men say an army of ships is the most beautiful thing on the black earth.
But I say it is
what you love.


.

Judith stacked the old plates with one hand and scraped the silverware together in a neat pile with the other. It was monstrous to see how dishes collected in such a short time. Rita would use the same spoon for several days until reprimanded, so she only had herself to blame for the rest.

“You know, I’m impressed,” Rita said slowly.

Judith made her way to the kitchen, sidestepping an open diagram of the field grate she’d installed that morning still pinned to the floor. Her body was sore from the heavy lifting, but it was the kind of work that left her proud. Housework on the other hand was a novelty. “Uh-oh. You’re not impressed by much.”

“I can’t believe you did all these things for your father and never said a word about it to anyone.” Rita wiggled around in her sleeping bag, pulling the pillow further under her head. She knocked a book shut with the back of her hand. “It’s really mind boggling to think that you knew about these problems before anyone else in the field. Like, we have all our universities and studies and technology -- and this dragon girl in the mountains knows more about it then Aspio’s mages.”

Judith bit her lip. The discipline that began within her culture was sold to the human population by her father during wartime. She didn’t care for the ancedotes.

“I can’t completely agree with that. There were others besides me.”

“Fine fine fine, let me rephrase: you were the one that actually investigated it. It’s tough for mages to admit when their experiments go south. We’re all so prickly and no one wants to admit defeat, but.” She swirled her second glass of celebratory wine in a slow circle. “That’s how problems are solved.”

Judith pumped water in the sink and let the dull clunk of the heavy handle fill the silence. She’d wash these in the morning when they were scrubbable.

“I was very ashamed of my father for a long time. Krityan customs are different, I think. How we learn, how we govern our communities -- my father was not much of a participant. That was hard for me to accept for a long time.”

“Yeah?”

“Yeah. But I did alright. I had Ba’ul.” Judith emerged back into the room and looked down at the bundle on the floor. “Hermes was very dedicated to his work. Much like you are, you know. You say I’ve impressed you, but I didn’t look for a way to change things. I just erased them entirely. That’s more cowardly, I’d say.”

“Alright, so we know I’d do things differently, but that’s not what I was trying to talk about.”

Judith smiled and tilted her head. “Rita... are you actually trying to be thoughtful? Too much wine?”

“Shut up. Don’t make me regret it. It’s hard to listen to, I know, but it’s got to be said. And this is a gift from Estelle, so stuff it.”

She sat down on the shoebox bed and dog-eared several pages in the surrounding tomes. Rita propped her head up with one arm and reached to turn on the lamp behind her. It popped on with a click, highlighting the mess of her shack of a house, shadows cast by stacks of books and hastily thrown boxes stretching across the floor. Thanks to war hero status, certain privileges like housing didn’t make her wait for four months while her claim was processed.

“What I mean is -- no one could have done what you did. So thanks.”

Judith didn’t look up. She’d taken the hard path in every aspect of her life, and Rita had never made it easy to admit that. She tugged off her boots and lay them gently at the end of the bed. “You’re welcome. I didn’t do it for you, though.”

“I’d hope not. That’d be confusing. And weird, even for you.”

She smiled softly at the blankets below. “True. I did it for me.”
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