Fang and Vanille sat in the room in silence, only briefly looking up to catch one another's worried gaze. Fang got up and went to the window of the house in their village and looked out, hidden away to where Vanille couldn't see the tears that had welled up.
Vanille sat on the bed and looked up at the boyish teen who stood in front of her and wished more than anything that Fang would run over and hold her and never let go. Instead she just sat there and could feel the whole world crashing down around her. The older girl sighed and looked out the window, trying desperately to keep her voice from breaking.
"Well isn't that a ripper. When is the ceremony?"
She spoke softly and continued to look out the window and closed her eyes, desperately trying to stop a tear from falling... unsuccessfully.
Vanille too was trying to seem strong and unflinching as she sat there trying to keep herself from sobbing. She breathed for a moment and then painfully swallowed the lump that had formed in her throat and began to speak.
"Elder Stone said it would be at the end of month sometime..."
Vanille still couldn't see Fang's face and craned her neck to try and notice if she was reacting at all, which she certainly hoped she was. She couldn't tell if Fang was even moved by this piece of news and felt as if she could die because of it.
The strawberry girl was always good at hiding her feelings and this was no exception. She just looked back up at Fang and started to unravel the beads on her skirt that she had made the week before. She focused heavily on them and then looked back up at Fang who just stood there in silence.
"I wanted to go with you... elder Stone didn't even tell me he was arranging this... I've never even spoken to Moon for more than ten minutes at a time."
She looked down again and started pulling at the beads again, which then broke and spilled all over the floor causing Fang to turn her head slightly. The raven girl then lowered her head, closing her eyes and retaining her immobile stance.
"I just became l'cie... I wanted you to come with me... he knew it too...I'm only doing this for you and the others. Why is he doing this to me? I hate him."
Upon those words her voice broke and Vanille realized that Fang's sniffles weren't related to indoor allergies. She got up slowly and walked over to where Fang stood and wrapped her arms around her waist, kissing between her shoulder blades, and resting into a tight squeeze.
Upon feeling Vanille's arms Fang couldn't help but let off a sob. Her whole body tensed up but she didn't try and push the younger girl off.
Fang's voice had at this point taken on the swollen sound of someone who has been allowing the tears to build up. Vanille squeezed tighter and Fang let out an unintentional whimper that made even Vanille gasp.
By this time both of the girls were sobbing quietly, as if in some corner, someone was watching. Fang's back was wet from Vanille's tears and once both of them had spent their energy upon one another, Fang reached down and broke Vanille's hold that she had around her waist.
She turned around and kissed Vanille more passionately then the friendly pecks that the two exchanged prior. Fang held Vanille's face in her hands and the smaller girl melted when for the first time she felt the older girl's tongue. Fang had by this time moved one of her arms on the smaller girl's waist and was able to hold her up.
The two girls kissed for a moment and the heat could be felt between the two of them. Even Vanille's hands had found their way under the older girls shirt and the two exchanged in that way until they had to break it off to catch breath. The two just kept their faces inches apart and then Fang looked the young girl in the eyes and lowered her own and grabbed the strawberry's hand.
"You're not getting married Vanille... not to that bloke anyway."
Fang shook her head as if on a mission and Vanille looked up at her and couldn't help but give a chuckle... rubbing her burning eyes and feeling oddly happy.
"I'm not? Who am I marrying then?"
Fang turned around and it could be seen that her eyes were puffy and swollen from the moments earlier. She grabbed Vanille's hand and placed it upon her own chest.
"I want you to promise me... from this day forward... that we will never be separated or abandon one another... in both illness and happiness... forever..."
At this point Fang was looking down at Vanille's hands unable to meet her gaze. Vanille was obviously gobsmacked... she only stood there and tried to look at Fang in the eyes in the hope that the latter would grow some and return her gaze.
"Fang, that promise can only be blessed by an elder... you know that..."
Fang looked up at her with a fire in her eyes that even Vanille had never seen.
"I don't care about that old dill. He's not the full quid if he thinks you belong to anyone but me..."
Fang's glance had dropped once more and Vanille noticed that the fire had turned into a plea. She reached up and cupped Fang's face in her hands and raised herself on her toes to kiss her again... upon ending the kiss they both just stood there waiting for their hearts to calm down. The strawberry girl looked up at Fang and held both her hands in her own.
"I promise that we will be together forever... I love you."
For the first time Vanille saw Fang blush... not just any blush but the kind that burns for a few minutes before relentlessly giving into reality. Fang started smiling and laughing, as if her very thoughts were made up of happiness itself.
The raven girl picked the smaller girl up and squeezed her, causing the latter to squeek unintentionally. She sat her down and had a burning excitement in her eyes.
"I hoped you would say that... here I made something for you."
She walked over to her bag in the corner and rummaged around until she found a wooden box that had been carved. There was a symbol of their village, the one of love carved on the lid. She picked it up and looked around at Vanille and smiled.
"Here... I carved it awhile back but I couldn't give it to you...I was being quite a mongrel at the time... "
Vanille smiled at her and took the box. She sat it down on the table and looked at it for a minute or two before turning to Fang.
"We will leave it here until after you have completed your focus... we will come back and fill it with our memories."
The two stood there holding each other's hand, allowing the moment and the oath to settle in.
Fang then looked over at Vanille and smiled.
"What kind of memories do you think we'll have?"
Vanille looked at the box and then up at Fang once more and smiled. She then pulled Fang closer and wrapped her arms around the older girl. Her head was nestled on Fang's chest and Vanille sighed happily.
"It doesn't matter as long as we're together."