The craft flew through the sky at a screeching pace, sending every other creature around it scurrying for cover as it did so. Though by our standards it wasn't the fastest or most maneuverable of vehicles, for the world that we live in, for them it was the height of technology. Thanks to a large engine and a series of propellers it was able to stay aloft and move a lot faster then man was supposed to go. The fact that this particular aircraft was only a fourth the size of the original created by the technological geniuses that made this one was even more marvelous.
"Ye really outdid yerselves this time, Cid!" The pilot called out, still a little unsure about some of the newer toys the inventor had come up with. What'd he call it? A radio? And it allowed her to talk to him over a distance. What a concept to witness.
"I'm glad to hear it, Faris. Just don't push her to hard." The voice came back in a crackly fashion, showing the device still needed some work before it was perfected. Faris didn't care, though, as she roared through the sky and pulling every trick she could think of that she could make the craft do. It was a good thing that Cid wasn't able to watch what all she was doing exactly.
It was also to bad the princess wasn't paying all that much attention to what was going on around her, so concentrated she was on enjoying herself. She had to do something, she thought to herself, to relieve the stress she'd gained after defeating Exdeath just a few months earlier. Being a princess wasn't all it was cracked up to be, she'd found out, especially since everyone knew now. Granted she didn't have to worry about the big things, that's where Leena and Butz came in. She was happy for them, but even happier that she didn't have to deal with all of the junk that they did in running the kingdom.
"Faris? Are you paying attention to the storm developing?" Came the crackle from the radio of Cid's voice. Snapping out of her reverie Faris looked all around her and nearly panicked as she saw that a rather menacing storm started to brew around her. She'd never flown in such conditions, so she wasn't exactly sure what it was that she was supposed to do. The first reaction was to turn the thing around and head back towards where Cid's was, but that proved to be difficult thanks to the gale force winds that appeared all around her.
Lightning crashed all around her as the rain started to pelt at the craft, driving it around as if it were nothing more than a rag doll. The huge wind that raged about her didn't do much to help out with the condition she was in, leaving her in a less then in control manner. Dark, ominous clouds seemed to surround her, limiting her vision even more and preventing her from knowing exactly where she was and where she was going. Glancing to the compass in hopes that it'd give her a hand, she found herself dismayed to find that it was going nuts, not giving her a definite direction of any sort.
Buckling down she forced herself to calm down and assess the situation. She'd been in far worse predicaments, she told herself, and she could handle this one easily. Concentrating on just going straight she settled in for the fight of her life, doing everything she could just to keep the plane level. For quite a while she was successful at doing just that, keeping herself from being tossed about too much. It didn't last for long, however, as a sudden bluster of wind caught her wing, throwing her craft to one side, which in turn caused her to go flying on that side. The last thing she remembered was her head striking the side of the craft before she slowly fell into unconsciousness.
"Unidentified craft! Land your craft immediately!" Those were the words that woke her up from her enforced slumber, causing Faris to groan lightly and slowly bring herself up to a sitting location. Her head felt like it'd been hit with a sledgehammer, and her eyes were also causing her a great deal of trouble since they wouldn't open up to much. The sun practically burned her orbs, having to adjust again to the bright glare. At least there wasn't a storm anymore.
"I repeat! Land your craft immediately or we will shoot! This is your final warning!" Finally she forced herself into the pilot's seat and slowly lowered the airship. Despite her normal hatred of doing what she's demanded and not asked she did it now, knowing that she was in no condition to fight them off, especially with a threat that they'd fire on her. Soon enough they'd be on the ground and she'd explain to them who she was and then they'd regret saying anything. It wasn't until she was nearly on the ground that the thought of just how in the world they could be loud enough and close enough to hear her came to her. Looking back over her shoulder she gasped lightly at the sight behind her.
Two craft of about the same sized followed behind her, both of a different make but keeping pace nicely. Twin propellers kept the ships up and off the ground, similar to the ones that had been put on hers by Cid. The big difference were the massive weapon looking things that were placed under each wing. Both looked like they could shoot her out of the sky at any point had they so wished. Turning her attention back to the matter at hand she finally landed on the ground, skidding around a little thanks to the nature of the substance she'd landed on.
Slowly making her way out of the ship she was surprised to see that she'd found herself in a desert. She had been no where near a desert when her journey began, and this was just weirding her out. Maybe I've been out longer then I'd first thought, she pondered to herself. Shaking her head she figured she'd ask the other pilots where she was exactly before jumping to any conclusions.
"Identify yourself and declare why you were over Figaro air space!" One of the pilots called out, a small crossbow in his hands as he advanced on Faris and her craft. Both of their planes were turned off so that words could be shouted both ways. It was the man's words that struck her more so then any weapon could have at this point, however. Figaro? Where in the world was she.
"I'm Princess Sarisa! And I 'ad nay idea tha' I was in--Figaro." Slowly she moved out and towards them, hands in the air to show that she wasn't armed. She wasn't happy at the treatment, but she wasn't armed. Her mind was elsewhere, though, as she tried to remember where in the world she'd heard Figaro before--something about it struck her as being familiar. Both men were taken a back as well by the declaration as they looked between each other a little uneasily.
"We're sorry for the treatment, your highness!" One called back, bow still up, "But we'd not heard of any other kingdom having airships so we were a little leery. You did just fly over Figaro Castle a few miles back." Again that name--why was it so damn familiar.
"Take me there, then!" She called back, walking towards them more and assuming her usual commanding tone. She was a captain and a princess after all. Both of the pilots slowly lowered their bows and looked to each other slowly before looking back.
"You can ride with me, your highness. My craft is built to fly with two people if necessary." Faris just gave a haughty little nod and walked towards the one closest to him. Helplessly the pilots followed each getting in their craft. "We'll send some people to pick up your own ship when we get back," the same pilot said after they'd gained some altitude and gotten into the air. She just nodded again and wen through with the whole princess act.
It didn't take long before the two planes flew over the castle that she'd been told about. Looking down she couldn't help but be impressed by the look of the structure, even if it wasn't all that massive. The town around it seemed to be an extension of it, and though she didn't know, was a very new addition. A series of stripes of roads were behind the castle along with several large buildings as well. They were close enough that the princess could gander down at several other crafts of various size that were on the ground near the buildings, many of which resembled the ship that she was in.
The descent down and towards the strips was fairly slow and as smooth as the pilot could make it considering his cargo. Little did he know that the woman had been through far worse, and had actually been hoping for a more exciting landing. It was a safe one, though, as the craft's controller didn't want to get in trouble for upsetting or hurting anyone, especially a princess. Gradually it came down, rolling to a stop at the end of the long expanse.
"Let me ou' now so I kin speak with yer superior 'bout all of this." She demanded as soon as they came to a stop. The pilot tried to say something against it, but was silenced by the glare that she gave the poor man. With the canopy opening she didn't even waste time for something to come around for her to properly get out. Hoping down from the side she looked around with a look that dared any man to come and give her a hard time. Two officers came running up to greet her.
"We're sorry for everything that's happened, your highness," One said in a very apologetic voice, "But it is a matter of national security to be careful about anything strange that we find flying around the skies above our kingdom."
"Tha's all well an' good. Doesn't mean ya 'ave ta threaten to blast me ou' o' the sky." The other officer looked at her in a way that he almost doubted that she was who she claimed to be. Huffing at the indignity she brought her hand up to bear, revealing a ring that had a very official looking signet on it. "Now take me ta yer king so I kin properly talk ta him 'bout this."
Both men jumped over themselves in order to point her in the right direction, all but fighting over who'd be the one to take her to face their king. Finally the one of higher rank won out, telling the other to go and send a message ahead of them about whom it was that he was bringing to the king. Faris found this infinitely amusing that men would act in such a way over a simple woman based on her title. She'd slowly been getting used to everything that the title brought with it, but she doubted she ever would fully.
The trip to the main castle was rather interesting to the woman as he gazed about everything that was going on in the area on the ground around them. Dozens of men in different uniforms went about their business, working on a variety of things, most of which seemed to involve the aircraft that were either on the ground or in the air around them. Many of the soldiers stopped what they were doing in order to take a gander at the other pilot that'd seemingly come out of no where in order to fly over Figaro.
It was only a short walk before they reached the backdoor to the castle, so to speak, and through the gate that kept it defended. The guards paid little attention to the officer and his guest, going about their business as usual. The interior of the castle was much cooler, Faris noted, then the air outside which was a great relief. People bustled around doing their job that'd been determined since they'd started working inside of the castle. Tapestries and other forms of art were everywhere, giving the place an almost homey feel, instead of just that of a castle.
Faris' mind whirred as her old profession came to bear, estimating the cost of many of the objects she came across. Several of the scenes and other figures in the art were unfamiliar to her, letting her think that they were worth even more. She didn't take anything, though, knowing that if she were caught it'd be an embarrassment to her family back home, which was the last thing she wanted to do. Slowly the pair made their way to the main throne room of the castle.
"King Edgar will be with you in a moment," One official told her, asking her to stand in the throne room for a few moments before the liege could come to see her. She merely nodded curtly and acted as if it was all an inconvenience for her having to wait, which it was. Still, Faris was glad to be on the ground, alive, and not having to fend off the heat in that forsaken desert these people called home.
Allowing herself to look around after a moment she found herself seeing even more armor and tapestries around the throne room. Difference was that people were actually in some of those suits and looking ready to do what was needed in order to protect their home. The one thing that caught her attention the most was the series of banners that hung over the dual thrones at the head of the room. The symbol on them seemed very familiar to her, adding to her confusion at why this all seemed to be like something from her past. Slowly it started to dawn on her when her attention was drawn away by the sound of a man shouting something.
"Presenting! King Edgar of Figaro!" I sighed as I entered into the throne room at what I was going to have to deal with. Last thing I needed at this time was a war with another kingdom, even if we could handle it. War had driven the world to the brink of destruction before, and so I didn't want a repeat of what had happened. So into the throne room I went, ready to deal with any apologies I might have to dole out and grant promises of getting her back home as quickly as possible. Little did I know what was going to meet me when I walked in.
I had only gone a few steps in before I turned to look at her, and stopped dead in my tracks. For a moment I questioned my own sanity, wondering if I'd seen a ghost, or if I was hallucinating. It had been five long years since I'd seen the face that was before me, since I'd held that body close to mine, since I'd pondered if she'd truly been a real person, or merely a creature of my imagination. There she was again, and the look she gave me told me she was wondering the same things I was.
The two of us were drawn to each other, much to the buzz of those in the room. Neither of us seemed to care, though, as our steps brought us gradually to each other. It seemed like an eternity before I finally stood before her, though I knew it was only a few moments. My hand came up, gently moving to caress her cheek to check to see if she was real. There was a bit of hesitation at first from both of us, me from touching her and her from allowing me to. Slowly my hand stroked her cheek and Faris leaned into it, showing me that she was real, and not just some figment of my heat addled imagination.
"It's really you," I uttered nigh breathlessly, arms slowly moving to bring her close to me, "You're--you're actually here." She wasn't nearly so hesitant and threw herself into me, arms wrapping around my neck. Slowly we both knelt to the ground, arms holding each other and tears flowing from our eyes.
"Aye, I'm 'ere," she said back, face buried into my chest as we both just held each other, "But ya left me, Gerad." I was at a loss for how to respond to that. I could have been upset that the first thing she said back to me was that, but I didn't blame her for being upset.
"I was forced away, Faris. I wanted to come back, but I didn't know how," I swallowed lightly as she cried in my arms. Memories of the last time this had happened came flooding back to me as I remembered the night we'd decided to become married, the night in which she'd also cried in my arms.
"I cried every nigh' for a month after tha'," she admitted softly. My heart broke as she spoke each pain a dagger in my heart.
"I'm sorry, Faris. But you know what?" It was time for me to regain control of the situation, to show her that I still loved the woman.
"Wot?" Pulling her back just a little I held up my left hand, the hand that still had the ring she'd put there to claim me as hers. The ring that had shown that we were to be married sometime shortly after we'd declared our love for one another.
"I still love you. And I still remember our promise." This caused her to fall into sobs, pulling herself into me again and clutch at me closely. I just held her in the middle of that busy court for a while, letting her get out all the pain and frustration she'd had building up for years come out. Then I heard four words that melted my heart.
"I love ye too," Slowly I picked up the woman, cradling her close and heading off towards my private chambers was. My chancellor tried to stop me and ask what was going on, but I brushed him aside and told him I'd inform him of everything later. The two of us went down the hall as quickly as I dared move, not wanting her to have to be this way before everyone for longer then she had to be. I knew she showing any weakness in front of anyone, and I wanted to spare her from the disgrace. Eventually we made it to my room, and I lived out one of my greatest fantasies. I was able to carry Faris over the threshold and into my home--I just wished it wasn't quite in this manner.
It was several hours before we could actually sit down and talk. After the initial time of letting her sob herself back to being all right, it came time for us to realize we'd not seen each other in quite some time, and we had some personal time together. After we'd taken advantage of that fact we settled in next to each other, me holding her close in my arms as she relayed what'd happen to her in the time since we'd parted which left me rather surprised in many areas. Part of me, anyway, as I was somewhat used to hearing about heroic deeds thanks to my friends repeating our own actions over and over again in exaggerated stories.
I also told her about my journey after the time that I was forced away from her, recalling everything that had happened from the time we defeated Kefka up until present day, mostly of which dealt with rebuilding the world around me. Figaro was the most powerful kingdom left over after everything had happened, and I'd taken it upon myself to help rebuild everything. Figaro had grown and grown prosperous in that time, and thanks to Setzer, had grown a good-sized peacekeeping force including several air ships.
"So ya don' know how ya got back here?" She asked quietly, arms wrapped around me in an almost death grip, as if she still didn't believe I was there. I didn't blame her, it was still hard to believe she was still there.
"I passed out," I answered quietly, "And the next thing I knew I was back in my world." Then it was my turn, "So you don't know how you got here, do you?"
"Nae," was her reply as she gently shook her head, "I passed ou' as I was flyin' me ship. Next thin' I knew, I was bein' chased down by yer men." A light smile crossed my lips at the thought as I pulled her in close.
"Weird how the works sometimes, isn't it?" A light chuckle escaped my lips, "And here I find out that you are a princess no less."
"Gerad--Edgar--why'd ya never tell me ye were a king?" She asked. A light pause as I thought about it, hoping she'd understand and believe my explanation.
"At the time we met I wasn't even sure if my life as a king had been real or not. I was in a place where everything I knew--didn't exist. I'd almost wondered if my life had been a lie--if it'd all been a dream." I quieted to let her digest that and to ask any questions she might have.
"But ya still didnae ever tell me 'bout what you thought of your past," I don't think she meant to be going at me like this, but she was still rightfully curious.
"I know, my captain. And I'm sorry about that, but I needed to make sure you didn't think me crazy. Or at the beginning possible ransom." I figured I'd be brutally honest this time around.
"Gerad!" she admonished in a whisper, "Ya donae thin' I'd actually 'ave done tha', do ya?"
"If you hadn't been in love with me, especially when we first met, would you have?" I countered softly. She thought on this for a moment before answering in an almost regretful tone.
"Yer right--I'm sorry, Gerad." I silenced her with a soft kiss before continuing.
"It's all right, my love. We're together again, and we can build again--if you're willing to try with me." She fell quiet again, not saying anything for a long moment as she thought. Finally I heard her speak her answer, and my heart lept.
"I'm a long way from 'ome, but since I'm 'ere, and migh' ne'er get back--aye, I'll be wit' ya, an' we'll grow together 'gain, Gerad."
"Edgar," I corrected quietly, giving her another soft kiss, "And you're going to have to go by Princess Sarisa in public. That way we can consider it an official courtship and make everyone happy. Well, aside from all the fathers who might want their daughters to marry me. Not that I blame them." A pillow in the face was the response I got for what I said. I spent the rest of the day and that night retaliating against her for doing such a thing--though she wasn't complaining by the time I was done.
It was the next day by the time I started spreading the news that Figaro was to have a new queen, and she was of royal stock at that. There'd been a betting pool going around the castle on whether or not my wife would be nobility in origin or not. Apparently my penchant for going after more common women was enough where such a thing would be considered. Not to mention I'd had been asked by a few people, friends included, had even asked if I was going to go after Terra. While the thought had crossed my mind a few times there was just something at the back of my mind that told me not yet. That it wasn't right for me to do so. I'd guessed that somehow my subconscious knew better then I did, and with Faris here I could see why it told me to wait.
"If I didn't hear it with my own two ears I never would have believed it," Sabin's words filled me with such joy at hearing I was so trusted--then again, they didn't, "My big brother is growing up so fast. He's even getting married."
"Yuck it up, brother," I retorted back at him, "Next thing you know it'll be your turn to walk down the aisle." His snort told me he didn't quite agree with what I'd said.
"Don't be to sure. Us martial arts types don't usually get the girl." A light shrug as we continued down the hall and towards where I'd last heard Faris had gone. Sabin had come as quickly as possible when he heard the news so he could meet his future sister in law.
"Maybe you can go after Terra. Even with Mobilz rebuilt I'm sure she wouldn't mind having you there to help with the kids."
"Nah, the kids see me as Uncle Sabin. How in the world would I explain to them that I was going to marry their mama? Besides, I doubt that Terra would want me to put the moves on her." I had to laugh at that one.
"Just do what I used to do, and you'll be in." Sabin's chuckle forewarned me that he already had a cut down in line.
"I'll just make sure to do the opposite of what you used to do," I'd already joined in with him half way through and helped him finish the sentence.
"You're getting predictable in your old age, Sabin." I teased. Granted I knew that I was as old as he was, but I couldn't let the joke go by.
"Bah. You're no older then I am. In fact, you're older."
"By twenty minutes," we'd always had this argument as to who should do things. Mostly who should explain why we'd broken the expensive vase while playing.
"You're still older," I just shook my head and reached for the door of the training gym. Knowing Faris as well as I did it didn't surprise me at all that she'd want to be here in order to help keep in shape. Not to mention it gave her something more to do then to just sit around and sew all day. A light grin spread over my lips at that thought, Faris sewing--it'd be something I'd almost pay to see. Pushing the thought away I opened the door, and was met by a young soldier being sent sliding out the door on his backside. Sabin arched a brow at the display as I could hear a familiar voice call out, "Is tha' the best ya got?!"
"She certainly is a feisty one, brother," he told me as he gingerly stepped over the soldier and moving into the room. Shaking my head I followed him in, grinning as I saw my bride to be holding off two other guards by her self, sword in hand. Sabin did a double take, looking at me after he'd absorbed what all was before him. His eyes showed the surprise that he had, wondering where in the world I'd found a princess with this much spunk--and sword knowledge. I just grinned and shrugged lightly, motioning for him to watch.
Like a whirling sandstorm Faris seemed to never stand still as she pushed herself against the practice guards before her. Both men were hesitant at going at her full force, both because they were afraid to hurt her and she'd unnerved them a great deal at her display. Whooping and hollering the woman charged forth, causing one man to go immediately on the defensive, the other moving to get away from her. Slicing down at the former the soldier parried, and sent a swipe at her midsection. Faris was already moving, going down and below the blade, using her shortness as an advantage, and kicking his feet out from under her. That soldier fell to the ground like a ton of bricks.
The other looked at the woman nervous, wondering what'd come over her. Faris returned his gaze with a stare that would unnerve any normal man, and might have unnerved me had I had to face it down and be on the wrong end of her blade. Glancing over in my direction the guard played his only card in which to get out of the practice without embarrassment or a bruise. Snapping to attention the man saluted me, which caused Faris to look my way, and me to chuckle. Saluting back I motioned for him to get his fallen companions as I walked towards Faris.
"Have fun, my captain?" I asked, drawing a weird look from Sabin. I'd yet to tell him exactly how we'd met, and I didn't plan to until I could get the three of us together for dinner. Faris threw her head back and laughed before practically leaping into my arms to give me a passionate kiss--the type we'd always shared after a well fought battle. After pulling back from the kiss she finally answered.
"Aye. But yer guards need some more practice." Faris and I both gazed at each other lovingly before her own went over to look at Sabin. My eyes looked towards my obviously uncomfortable at the showing, or at the very least slightly confused, brother of mine.
"Sarisa, I'd like you to meet my brother Sabin. Sabin, this is Princess Sarisa Tycoon, my fiancée." Slowly pulling from my grasp the woman made her way over towards him in a rather sultry manner. I just arched my brow a little and watched to see what she was going to do.
"Yer brother?" She practically purred, holding up a hand towards him, "I kin see the resemblance. Yer both rather 'andsome men." For a moment Sabin seemed at a loss for words at how she was acting. A hand slowly came up and took hers, giving it a firm shake before the man cleared his throat and forced himself to go back into being a Figaro, and not be intimidated by her.
"It's good to see Edgar has some taste in him to pick such a feisty young princess," he responded, causing Faris to have a good laugh. I just chuckled lightly.
"Oh, aye? Well, comes wit' bein' a pirate captain fer so long." Sabin blinked a few times at that and gave me a questioning look.
"I wanted to wait for you to be with me when I explained how we met, Faris," I purposefully called her by her old name in order to confuse my poor brother some more. It worked as he looked at me in wonder at why I'd called her that. My fiancée just laughed and move back over to me.
"Iffin ya think its fer the best, Gerad," The sound of frustration that followed from Sabin made the entire cat and mouse play with names and secret all worth while. That night we dined well, eating some of the best-imported seafood from South Figaro. Faris and I explained the situation to him, recounting the tale from when we'd first met all the way up to where we parted ways, and then when she returned into my life. Sabin took it all in stride and even gave us his blessing on the marriage. He said it was good for me that I was marrying such a strong woman to set me right.
That night as Faris and I drifted off to bed together I found myself unable to sleep as my mind whirred in a million different directions. I thought about everything I'd done up until this point, and how some of it seemed empty because I had no one to share it with really. I thought about my time before with her, and my time after, and how everyone was reacting. Most people were happy there was finally going to be a queen, though some grumbled that she seemed to show up out of nowhere and all of this was happening. I didn't care, though. I knew, especially after my brother gave his approval, that what I was doing was right. I knew that I'd found the woman I wanted to share my life with, and that I was doing the right thing. I also knew that I loved her very much, and as she lay there in my arms I knew that while we may face some troubles in the future, everything was going to work out for the best.