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A Form Most Beautiful

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If Sid were to be completely honest with himself, he was okay with one tiny redheaded Xaela coming up to him and announcing she was taking his charge out shopping because Rielle needed clothes damn it. What he wasn't okay with was being out in the Ishgard snow as said tiny redheaded Xaela dragged his sorry ass around with Rielle. Why was he needed? Why did the Warrior of Light need his input on what to buy?

"Because I'm not going to be around all the time and you'll need to eventually buy clothes for her," she told him, holding a pair of boots out to Rielle. "She's not going to stay small forever. Here, Rielle, try these on too, and tell me if they fit."

"Can't Rielle pick clothes for herself?" Sid asked. "I don't know anything about all this shite."

Sid was almost certain Fray himself was giving him that flat, "you're not that dumb" look with her yellow eyes.

"I mean, she looks okay with everything you've chosen!"

Okay, that was definitely Fray. It was getting more and more obvious both of them were becoming very exasperated with Sid. "Rielle still needs training and there are still people after her," the Warrior of Light told him. "You'll need to shop with her. So stop being an arsehole."

"Fine. But I still don't know anything about what you're talking about with cut of the fabric and material or any of that shite. It's not like armour where all that matters for life and death." He paused, studying the other Xaela. "Also, should Rielle be taking fashion advice from you, who has apparently forgotten to wear anything other than your smallclothes below the waist and isn't wearing a single bit of armour?"

"It's glamour, and that's something you will have a conversation with her once she starts thinking about how best to attract the attention of her crush. Rielle, try this robe. It's something I've seen other Conjurers wear, so it may aid in your conjury."

"You're a Dark Knight! Why are you wearing any sort of glamour?"

"Rielle, hold this." She shoved a pair of gloves at the poor girl, whirling on him with fire in those pale eyes. "If we are to talk about being a disaster of a Dark Knight-" Her eyes snapped wide open, and she turned to push Rielle down. An arrow slammed deep into the wall, right where Rielle's head would have been. Sid pulled his sword as he turned, his companion doing the same. Both of them scanned the Jeweled Crozier, noting the disdainful looks of the noble Elezen walking past.

He could hear Rielle slowly standing up behind him, and he could hear the sound of her readying her staff. There was movement out of the corner of his eye-

Luck was not with him as a blade expertly found its way between the joints in his armour. It sank in deep, though that wasn't his worry. Wounds like that barely phased him. No, it was the poison that immediately ran through his veins, a potent variant he had never encountered before and numbed his arm before the blade even pulled free. His arm dropped free from his sword, the muscles no longer responding to him as the poison roiled through his body. He could feel that entire side of his body lose feeling, and his heart

started


to




not





Rielle's voice, a spell











"Your heart almost stopped, you arsehole."

"I just opened my eyes," Sid grumbled. The last thing he remembered was the feeling of conjury, though he knew not the spell. Apparently, it had saved his life.

The Warrior of Light didn't move from her perch by the window. By the looks of things, it was her own personal room at the Forgotten Knight. He couldn't tell right away if it was a room they held for her for when she was in Ishgard or simply the room she was renting for the night, but he could tell by the packs in the corner it wasn't his room, even if his own armour and weapon was next to it. A small shift told him, yes, he was only in a thin shirt and his smallclothes, much like the Warrior of Light herself. Not ideal. At least one of them needed armour on, and he somehow knew what she wore wasn't a glamour this time.

"You worried Rielle," she finally said, shifting one long blue gray leg. "You're usually better about paying attention to your surroundings."

The words stabbed him perhaps deeper than the knife had, the poison of the words infecting his mind. He had worried Rielle. Not only that, but he had been a disgrace of a protector, not even noticing the arrow lined up with his charge's head. It had fallen on his companion to see it.

When he didn't answer, the Warrior of Light pushed herself upright, walking over to him. "You're very lucky Rielle had already learned Esuna. Do you realize this?" Her voice wasn't as steady as before as she grabbed his chin, forcing him to look at her. "Do your horns hear this? How lucky you are? Do you know what would have happened if you died?!"

Blood was on her hands. On her arms. On her face. She must have slaughtered the assassin with full force.

"I-"

One of her legs slid over him as she straddled his chest as she grabbed his face. "Are you even listening to me?!"

"I'm listening. What do you want me to do about it? Do you think I can do anything about it?!"

She growled at him, her fingers tightening on his jaw. Then, slow, released as her body shuddered in a large sob. Sid looked up at her, awkward, as she placed a hand to her mouth, as if it would keep the sobs in. He didn't deal with crying girls. But, without knowing why, he tugged on one slender arm, too slender to wield her sword as expertly as she did, until she was flush with his chest. He didn't know what else to do, other than let the Warrior of Light cry into his chest. Maybe pat her back?

"Sid, please, do not become one I could not save," she whispered, a sob nearly breaking the words. "I save so many lives, and yet I keep losing those important to me... Please do not become one of those lives. Please."

He cupped her cheek as she pulled back, the scales cool against her soft warm skin. Words came to his lips, words reminding her his life wasn't for her to worry about. She was chosen by fucking Hydaelyn, chosen to save the world from threats he couldn't even imagine. Next to that, worrying about a simple Xaela like him-

Her lips found his and it didn't matter. Her touch seared his skin as her lips pressed against his, needily, just as needy as his own. She surrounded him, blood red hair a curtain around him as her legs gripped his chest hard. His fingers mapped her skin, where gray met dark scales, growling when his fingers met cloth as he drew then down her chest. In response, she grabbed the hem of the shirt and pulled, breaking the frantic press of their lips to yank off the offending fabric and toss it aside, clad now only with smallclothes on her bottom.

Barely, in his lust as his hands reached for her again, he managed to say "Rielle...?"

"In your room."

The skin of her chest felt even softer under his fingers, a feat that should not be possible. Even as his fingers pulled needy gasps from her, his touch hardening her dark nipples with questioning touches, she still felt too soft to be a Dark Knight. His body sung with the need to be inside her, to make her voice spiral higher in climax. Slowly, he started to sit up, his body screaming at him about the movement. But it was worth it as she sunk sweetly onto his lap, even the clothed brush of her wonderful. Without bothering to remove the cloth, he slipped a hand between her legs, groaning as he felt the wetness against his fingers. While his experience with the matter was woefully lacking, he could watch her. Listen to her. And know when he slipped a finger inside her she needed it just as much as he did, clenching around the digit as she groaned. Slowly, he slid the finger in and out of her, watching her. When her own hand slipped between her legs, he watched where her fingers landed, watched as they desperately rubbed against her flesh. His thumb nudged her fingers aside, mapping out the fold of skin she had been focusing on and listening to her voice as both the finger inside and out moved.

"More." The word fit between her wordless whines. "Sid, I need-"

It was enough. He moved to pull his smallclothes down, lifting his hips as she helped. But once his need sprang free, she barely waited, only pushing aside the cloth between her legs once again to sink down on him. The wet clench around him, so new, so perfect, shivered through his body. He barely noticed the look on her face as he grasped her hips, thrusting up into her. This time, he didn't nudge her hands out of the way as he slammed into her, watching instead as those slender fingers, still stained with blood, played her own sex so perfectly. Her breaths shivered as he drove into her, over and over, her skin growing darker blue as her blood, singing through her veins in arousal, flushed her skin. He knew such a flush stained his own skin as he felt his own build, racing towards that peak. A thought occurred to him, about how he was reaping pleasure from her body without a barrier to keep his seed from splashing inside her, but it only made him growl, pulling her closer.

"Inside," she gasped, as if her thoughts had followed his. "Please-"

The words ran through him, tipping him over that last edge. He barely noticed as her fingers against her sex grew faster, more desperate, until he felt her fall over into ecstasy as well, her voice winding to a pitch and volume he was certain all heard. But it only settled in the satisfied bliss inside him, his fingers cupping her cheek again as he looked into her yellow eyes.

"You wanted me inside," he finally rumbled.

She smiled, exhaustion lining the curve of her lips. "Yes."

"Are you-" If she was in her fertile cycle...

She shook her head. "Tis only something I needed."

Sid finally smiled back, lying back, holding her against his chest. "I see."

The two of them laid there in silence for a while.

"I'm going to dump you off on Rielle if you start crying again."

"And like that you ruined the mood."

But she didn't move.

And he only held her closer.

He didn't know what he'd do if she died either.

Chapter Text

The Warrior of Light baffled him.

Sid didn't want to even try to imagine he understood her as a woman, much less as an unstoppable warrior, taking down gods and dragons as if they were dirt on her shoes. But there was much more than that to baffle him. Her name was one such thing; Sid knew she had to be a woman of the Steppe. Her voice still held the edge of that accent, after all. But her name reflected none of that. No tribe name, nothing that would tie her to her birth place. It gave her an air of maddening mystery, as if she had been conjured from the aether by Hydaelyn herself and moulded into the Warrior of Light. But she had to be a mortal woman, a flesh and blood Xaela. She wasn't perfect; she grew angry, bled, and even cried like a normal woman. But who was she? Why had she decided to walk the path of a Dark Knight?

And of course, she had fucked off to wherever Warriors of Light went, so he wasn't getting any answers any time soon.

"I save so many lives, and yet I keep losing those important to me..."

That, at least, he knew. After the debacle with Myste, he had seen that guilt and sadness manifest before him. He knew she had lost those she deeply cared about, maybe even loved. While he was certain "love" wasn't a word she attached to him, he knew she cared for him. For Rielle.

And he wouldn't deny he cared for her as well. While their coupling had been a surprise to him, and a quite enjoyable way to be introduced to the world of carnal pleasure, that wasn't what spurred the realization he wouldn't know what to do if she died. Perhaps it was the realization she was the only other one like him, the only other Dark Knight after his Master and Fray passed from this world. Perhaps it was her and Rielle being the only bonds he had. Whatever the reason, he did not want to ever see her bloody, broken body, gasping out its last breath.

Sid grunted. He'd never see that. If multiple gods didn't take her down, nothing would.




"Your name isn't Auri."

Sid had no idea why that left his lips. The Warrior of Light had returned to Ishgard, covered in blood, and was drinking herself to oblivion when he entered the Forgotten Knight. He had no idea what had happened other than a haunted look had passed her face when he asked. So instead, he hauled her off to her room (she did have a private room. He knew it) and tossed her sorry arse into bed. He should have left, but then his voice spoke up without his permission.

She didn't answer at first. Then, softly, "Tis a mask. Much like as being the Warrior of Light is a mask, it's something I can show to the world that doesn't lay me bare. Magic is in a name, and having those I do not know, those who wish to harm me know my true name would..." She closed her eyes. "I wonder sometimes if I forgot my own birth name," she murmured, the words starting to slur to near incomprehension.

He supposed he understood. If those she fought knew her name, her tribe, those she loved would be at risk. And from what he could tell, she had lost too many she loved. "I guess."

She looked so... small in that bed, Sid realized. Au Ra women were not very large, and she wasn't an exception. Perhaps taller than an average Xaela woman, but certainly much smaller than himself. In that bed, stripped of her armour, laid low by bad ale, with the quiet sound of snow falling outside their window, darkening the room to the lamp he had lit, she looked...

Fragile.

Sid pulled the blanket over her.

Perhaps that was what made her a strong Dark Knight.

Perhaps that was why she was a Dark Knight.

"You're not allowed to die," he informed her. "Even if Rielle has to pull your soul kicking and screaming from the hells themselves, you are not allowed to die."

He wouldn't allow it.

Chapter Text

So this was where she went whenever she was in Ishgard.

Her head turned slightly as Sid walked up behind her, as if to let her horns hear better, but he knew she had known he was there before his boots crunched on the snow. When he stopped next to her, she turned her gaze back to the grave in front of her.

"The dead require no such memorials," he reminded her. "I doubt your presence is even noted."

"Such memorials are not for the dead, but for us, the living." Her hand reached out, gently touching the broken shield resting against the grave. "To remind me of who I have lost."

The way she said it... "For who you have lost?"

She pulled her hand back. "For those I have lost. For those I can yet save."

That pulled a snort from Sid as he looked at her. "You sound like you've repeated that so many times to delude yourself into believing it."

"Perhaps." She turned to him, her blood red hair falling into her eyes from the wind. "Did you come up here just to call me deluded?"

Sid shook his head. "No. Just curious why you're always looking the way you do when you visit Ishgard."

"And now you wonder why I do this to myself."

"... yes."

She sighed, looking back at the grave. "Because... it hasn't healed. Time should have healed the ache, but as I think of him, even just stand here and look at this grave... I remember him. How I felt. And how he died for me." Her hand clenched, the sound of her glove creaking drawing Sid's attention. "He protected me. And all I could do was watch him die. I knew no healing at the time, wielded no sword... All I could do was watch him die."

"You became a Dark Knight for a man."

Perhaps that was the wrong thing to say. He didn't mean it as she chose the path for weak reasons. Nor, really, that choosing the walk the path for love was weak.

"One of the reasons. He was the second I had in my heart, and the second to die for me. I couldn't hold another in my heart and not be able to protect them. And..." A cynical smile played along her lips. "I would be lying if Fray's words about me being tired of being the Warrior of Light were falsehoods. I was tired of my ability to help being taken advantage of just because I killed a few gods. In the end..." She inhaled deeply, then let out the breath, the warmth of her exhale billowing around her face. "I became a Dark Knight for me."

Sid turned to the grave. Then, he knelt, bowing his head. An unneeded gesture, since the dead would not see it, but...

For her. To respect her.

He stood, looking at the Warrior of Light. "Rielle's been wondering when you'd return."

A conflicted look crossed her face. "I fear I have no time. There are still battles for me-"

Sid placed a hand over her mouth. "Let me rephrase. Take a fucking break and come back to Ishgard to visit me and Rielle."

She started to smile as he lowered his hand. "Yes. I suppose I can take that fucking break."

Chapter Text

Sid hated linkpearls. There wasn't much else that could be said. They were uncomfortable to listen to, and his horns always itched after using one. He didn't need one since Rielle was always by his side. And there had been no one else he needed to speak to over linkpearl after his Master and Fray had died.

But in his fingers was a linkpearl, a delicate red thing shining softly in the candlelight as he sat on the bed. Rielle came over, curiosity shining in her youthful eyes. "Whose linkpearl is that?"

Rielle was starting to get taller, he realized. He had done some last minute frantic studying on female Elezen growth and puberty after overhearing a knot of nobles speak about their "monthly" being late and who she had been fucking. Rielle hadn't started... that, he was pretty sure. Or maybe she did and was hiding- no, he'd smell the blood. But one thing he did know was she was due for a growth spurt at some point in the near future. And it seemed like that "future" was more "now" than anything else. Before he would know it, she'd be looking him in the eyes instead of looking up at him.

His Rielle was growing up.

"No one's," he lied, putting it away.

Rielle frowned at him. "Don't lie to me, Sid."

"How-"

She crossed her arms. "You're not good at lying."

Sid winced internally. Or maybe his young charge had started to realize when he was lying. "It's none of your concern," he told her firmly.

Rielle continued to stand there, her arms crossed, not giving an ilm.

"Augh! Fine!" He pulled it out again, looking down at it. At a delicate, fragile looking, powerful- "It's hers."

She sat down next to him. "Can I talk to her sometimes? I miss her."

So did he. And- that might be a good idea. Female Au Ra had to have some similarities in their puberty as female Elezen, right? Plus, Rielle needed someone else to talk to. Someone that wasn't him. Someone that might have some experiences Rielle could relate to. The Warrior of Light had to be able to do that, right?

As long as Rielle didn't start dressing like her. He really didn't want to see his charge wear some of the things the Warrior of Light did, or worse, something even more scandalous.

"Here." He passed her the linkpearl, noting with some amusement how she instantly put it to a long ear. "I'm going to get us some food."

Rielle nodded, distracted, as her face lit up, the Warrior of Light obviously picking up on the other end. With that, he left Rielle to her conversation. He would... just take a little longer, so they could talk longer. Rielle would be safe in their room, so he could let them talk.

A small smile played on his lips as he went to gather a meal for the two of them. When he finally gathered everything, he started back, trying to take as much time as possible while still getting back to their room with hot food. When he entered the room, Rielle was still chatting, her face lit up in a way he rarely saw. He set the food down, then went over to his charge. "Time to let her go, Rielle, and eat dinner."

"Okay. Sleep well," she told the Warrior of Light. Rielle paused for a moment, then pulled the linkpearl from her ear and held it out to him. "Say goodnight to her."

Sid blinked. "Excuse me?" Before Rielle could say anything else, he took the linkpearl, putting it to a horn. "Um."

"Rielle woke me up," came the sleepy voice. "I was just about to go back to sleep. I guess she wanted you to also say goodnight."

"I'm surprised you were sleeping."

A tired chuckle came over the linkpearl. "You've seen me sleep, Sid."

True. "Well... goodnight," he said, his voice awkward.

A soft breath with the slight edge of a snore met his horns. She must have fallen asleep, he realized. And probably still had the blasted linkpearl to her horn. Well, it'd be her fault if she lost it in her bed while she slept. And he wouldn't need to worry about her calling him and forcing him to use the linkpearl.

"Your food's getting cold," Rielle told him, having already sat herself at the small table in their room.

Sid put the linkpearl away, going to the table as well. The food was still as decent as ever.

... maybe he'd call the Warrior of Light in the morning. Make sure if she actually lost the linkpearl.

Chapter Text

Rielle was sleeping well. Sid looked over at her, watching her peaceful face as she slept. It had been a rough day for her, having been her mother's name day. Even after what that bitch Ystride had done and tried to do to the girl, Rielle had told him she had still been her mother. Even as a terrible sadness had entered her face at the memory, she still wanted to honour her mother's name day. Sid couldn't understand any of it. But it gave his charge some sort of closure, so that's what they had done that day.

But now Sid couldn't sleep. He didn't want to leave Rielle alone, but a need to do something, take a walk, slaughter some corrupt Temple Knights, something filled him. He could try to bleed it out with some exercises in the room, but he knew the sound would wake Rielle. And he didn't need her to say anything to know the sound of him shadowboxing scared her awake, thinking he was fighting while she slumbered. He let out an annoyed sigh, looking over at his pack.

No. He would not speak with the Warrior of Light. It wouldn't be enough to fix the restlessness inside him. But at the same time, he imagined if she was. Going to her room, sparring a bit, her pinning him to the ground as she took his mouth, her too light body overwhelming him completely-

They fucked once and now he considered her fucking him again, he realized, shoving his head in his hands with a groan. He didn't have time to make that a regular thing, not with the Temple Knights still occasionally sending assassins after Rielle or even trying to ambush the two of them to take both him and the girl out. Though, he thought, there had been far less attempts on Rielle's life than before. Perhaps the influence of Speaker of the House of Idiots or whatever it was. That guy. Lord Commander guy. He seemed to be good friends with the Warrior of Light, and he might be able to kick the Temple Knights into not being assholes about Rielle.

It would be nice to be able to let Rielle go shopping by herself, or do whatever she would do to entertain herself. It would be nice to be able to go do something without worrying about Rielle's safety. He'd be damned if he actually went to the Lord Commander to ensure this, but if his ideals could change how Rielle was hunted...

Maybe he could get over himself and actually talk to the Warrior of Light about this. He already knew the two of them were friends, maybe more, so it was possible she'd know something or be able to talk to the guy. Sid retrieved the linkpearl and headed to the washroom. He didn't want to wake up his sleeping charge. Once he had the door mostly closed, just open enough to watch the room in case of invaders, he raised the linkpearl to his horn.

It took a few beeps, but eventually he heard a breathless "Hello?"

"I..." He must have interrupted her in the middle of battle. "You okay? Everything dead?"

A startled laugh met his horn. "Aye. I'm fine, Sid. Is something wrong? You don't usually use the linkpearl."

"I don't like them," he confessed. "But I needed to talk to you about something."

Silence for a moment. "Fine," she grumbled, and he heard her make a soft noise, almost a gasp. "What is the question?"

Sid frowned. She usually wasn't this grumpy and that noise... "Are you sure you're okay?"

"Aye," she said, and that was definitely too fast, he thought. She was hiding something.

"I don't believe you. What happened?"

There was a pause, then a small laugh. "You interrupted me," she told him.

"That's what I thought, but-"

"Sid. It doesn't matter. What's the question?"

"No," he told her firmly. "You don't get to do this again where you hide things that are bothering you."

"It's nothing bad."

"You're not getting off that easy."

"Well not at all now that you're going on about this," she grumbled.

Sid paused for a moment, then the realization of what "getting off" could mean bloomed heat through his veins. Before he could stop it, the thought of her during their coupling, her fingers within her smallclothes as she climbed towards climax- "Should... I let you go?"

"No, you have a question. Ask."

This was now far more awkward than it had any reason being. "It has to do with the Temple Knights and that you're apparently friends with their Lord Commander." Now he was imagining her up against the Lord Commander, her face holding that expression it had when he was inside her, and that had no reason making the heat now pooling between his legs blaze higher. "I didn't mean it- it's none of my business if you two-"

He could hear her sigh on the other end. "Maybe this is a question for another night after all."

Sid groaned, putting a hand to his face. He hadn't realized she would also relieve such a need with her own hand. She was a flesh and blood Xaela; he should have known she would also have the same needs. "Perhaps I should leave you to- that."

She let out a small chuckle. "So you can take care of yourself as well?" she said, a teasing lilt to the words.

A choked noise squeaked out of his throat, the need between his legs a constant burn.

"Hm." He could hear the smile in her voice. "I'll talk to Aymeric. Goodnight, Sid."

The linkpearl disconnected, and Sid groaned again. Now he wasn't going to get the image of her, carnal pleasure playing across her face-

He reached out, closing the door. He didn't need Rielle hearing him do this.

Chapter Text

There were times Sid forgot just how busy Gridania was. He had been so used to how isolated Ishgard was that taking Rielle to the Conjurer's Guild disoriented him for a moment. And right now, with Rielle learning to refine her conjury, he was left with nothing to do but be surrounded by adventurers, all chatting among themselves and causing a din that Sid could barely think over. He had gone to The Roost thinking to have a drink, not realizing his mistake. Sid had underestimated the amount of adventurers also having a drink or just getting a room for the night, the noise of so many people chatting intolerable. He started walking, hoping to find somewhere that was at least semi-quiet.

Old Gridania seemed quieter, once he moved away from the marketplace. He kept walking, relishing the sound of his armour becoming the only sound in the area. As he walked past what looked like an immense garden, he looked over, then stopped. While the tiny Xaela walking out of the hut wore dirt caked slops with an equally dirty shirt, a hat wide enough to almost hide her face, and had a hatchet and scythe on her back... he couldn't mistake the blood red hair tumbling over the slim shoulders. Curious, he started towards her, watching her stretch before she caught sight of him. The Warrior of Light looked up at him, tilting her head. "Bored enough to join the Botany Guild?" she asked, a small smile on her face.

"I could ask the same," he informed her. "Saving the world too boring now?"

She laughed, one hand going to her mouth in her amusement. "You do know I'm not always in the middle of a fate deciding battle, right?"

He stared at her for a moment, then laughed as well, shaking his head. "Fine. But why botany?"

She shrugged. "Why not?" When Sid only crossed his arms, she shook her head, chuckling. "Sid, not everything has a long noble reason behind it. After seeing other botanists, I decided to try my hand at it and ended up enjoying the work. That's all."

He wasn't sure what to say to that. Instead, he reached out, gently rubbing away one of the many spots of dirt on her face with his thumb. "You're filthy," he informed her.

That caused a soft smile to settle on her lips, her tail swaying gently behind her. "Aye. I was going to bathe then retire to my room."

He should let her go. But his hand wouldn't leave her skin, his thumb still stroking over her dirty cheek. After a moment, he found the will to pull his hand back, only for her to wrap her own slender fingers around it. He could see something in her eyes, something that ran through his veins and echoed the fire watching him. She shifted her grasp on his hand as she started to walk, gently pulling him along as she left the giant garden. Without a word, he followed, even as she slowly let go of his hand to navigate the mass of people in the marketplace. He followed, even through The Roost as she started towards her room. He should touch her, Sid realized as she opened the door to her room. Feel her skin under his fingers again. He reached out, and pulled her into his arms, loosely holding her as he pressed his nose against her hair. She smelled of dust, dirt, sweat, and something sweet. Something earthy.

For a moment, she didn't move save to grasp his arms and lean into him. The door was open, they could just take a step in, and yet... they just stood there, wrapped in an embrace.

She finally pulled herself out of his grasp, turning to look at him as she walked backwards, her hand still on his arm. Before her hand could fall, Sid followed her in, shutting the door behind him. Distantly, he noticed they had taking the steps of "bathe, then retire to the room" out of order, but it was buried in lust as she took his face, rolling up to the balls of her feet to meet him in a kiss. The fire in his veins roared, guiding his fingers under her dirty shirt. She chuckled, pulling back and tugging on his armour. "Off," she told him, her voice breathy before turning to her own clothing.

Sid had no choice but to comply. She could tell him to leap off a building at this point and all he could do was helplessly ask which one. Lust weaved a spell around him, dropping his armour to the floor before he pulled her close again. His fingers mapped her skin once again, rediscovering how soft her skin felt under his rough fingers. A pleased noise tumbled from her lips as he ran fingers across her breasts, seeking her hardening nipples. He pulled back to see her face, amazed at how his inexperienced fingers brought that look of pleasure on her. The memory of being deep inside her came rushing back, making him groan, his hips shifting towards her.

In response, she lead him to the bed. Sid sat, gazing at her for a moment, taking in the play of the setting sunlight against her scales, before gently running his fingers over her skin again. He helped her take off his smallclothes, laying on the bed at a soft push. As she slid on top of him, he reached between her legs. He needed to watch her face as his fingers ran along her sex. How just his fingers made her groan and gasp, how his fingers made her clench around them as they breached her. The need to sheathe himself inside her still burned, but he couldn't stop watching her climb closer and closer to climax on his fingers alone. She shifted on him, changing the angle inside her, slamming her hips down onto his fingers until he felt her reach her peak, her body tensing before it shuddered through her. He shifted his fingers, preparing to pull them out, only for her to shake her head. Sid watched, amazing, as she shifted her hips again, as if she would keep going. And then, dumbstruck, as she did just that. The only thing he could do was push them into her again until she shuddered in another climax.

This time, when he went to pull his fingers out, she let him, resting against him. He still burned to be inside her, but for a moment, he just stroked her blood red hair.

She was beautiful like this, he thought. Exhausted. Smeared with dirt. Happy.

He didn't know how many times he could say he had seen her happy.

And when she finally sat back up, moving to take him inside her, he resolved to keep that look on her face at least for the night.

Chapter Text

It made Rielle happy, Sid reminded himself. This was making her happy. She wanted to see the world and not be on a mission for it. This made her happy.

But if she asked to visit Limsa Lominsa again he was going to veto that hard.

He hadn't realized how busy the three Eorzea city states were. But he had already agreed to take Rielle out, and they were out. Sid glared at a Hyur glancing at Rielle, making him slink back away from her. She was going to shop in peace, he decided. If she was going to drag him out to fucking Limsa Lominsa, she was going to be happy and not annoyed by people accosting her.

"Aren't you going to buy anything?" Rielle asked, turning to him.

Honestly, all the weapons sucked, and he didn't see anything else that interested him. "Nah. Are you done?"

She nodded, holding a packet to her chest. "Can we go eat something before we go back to Ishgard?"

No. He wanted to leave as soon as possible. "Aye, I guess."

She beamed, and he noticed she looked flushed. Maybe it wouldn't be too bad to sit and have a drink while she ate, let her cool down a bit after being around so many people. At least people got out of the way of a scowling Auri male. It took no time to get to the lift for The Drowning Wench. Before he could talk to the attendant, however, Rielle made a soft noise behind him. He turned, one hand going to his sword only to see her face lose all colour and her body hit the ground. Cursing, he knelt beside her, fingers seeking out her pulse. She didn't look injured, but her skin felt cool and wet, not like normal, and he didn't remember her pulse being so-

"Move!" The strident voice, holding the edge of an accent from the Steppe, rang through the air. He looked up to see a knot of people standing to the entrance to the aetheryte part with haste as the Warrior of Light made her way straight to them. She didn't have a hand on her weapon yet, but the look in her eyes said she wanted to. Sid watched her kneel next to them, checking Rielle's pulse as well. "Fast," she muttered. Quickly, she looked over Rielle, frowning. "Did she have anything to eat or drink?"

Sid shook his head. "We were just about to go have a meal."

"I see." Without waiting, she picked up Rielle and stood. Rielle laid cradled in her arms, head resting against her shoulder, as the Warrior of Light held her easily. "Baderon is going to be upset I didn't visit on my trip, but I'd rather retreat to a more secure location. Follow me."

"More secure?"

"My house."

Sid stumbled at the surprise. "I didn't realize you had a house here."

"Of course I do, Sid."

"What do you- 'of course'?!"

She sighed as they started towards the residential district. "Did you really think I lived out of inn rooms?"

"I-" Sid couldn't finish that thought. He should have known, considering she had mentioned before not always being in fate deciding battles and her interest in botany. She would need a place to stay, a stable place, of her own. "Is it much farther?" he asked instead, looking around.

"No." They walked past two more houses, then turned into the yard of a modest house. She easily opened the door, shifting Rielle in her arms to grasp the doorknob. Rielle murmured in her sleep as she was jostled, but didn't wake. "She may only have been in the sun too long," she informed Sid as he closed the door. "But I'd rather not take chances."

"How would you-"

"I'm a child of the Steppe," she reminded him. "I fainted like this quite often as a child when I would overexert myself."

Sid tried to imagine the Warrior of Light as a child Au Ra, playing so much she would fall. It wasn't easy. "I guess. Should... how can I help?"

"There should be a pitcher in the kitchen of water. If not, the well in the yard has clean water. Pour a glass and meet me in the guest room."

Easy enough. He gathered the glass of water, then the pitcher just in case, and went in search of the guest room. It wasn't hard to find as it was the only room with the door open. Once he entered, he coughed, catching the Warrior of Light's attention and holding both up awkwardly. Rielle looked so helpless in the bed, he thought as she took both from him. She had woken up, though, and the Warrior of Light helped her sit up and sip at the water. "I'm sorry," he finally heard Rielle say, her voice small.

"It's okay," the Warrior of Light told her. "You can rest here until you feel better."

Rielle looked around, finally seeing Sid, an almost hopeful look on her face. "Did you think I'd say no?" Sid asked, his voice gruff as he looked away. "Of course we can stay here until you feel better."

He didn't know why, but when he looked back at them, the Warrior of Light had a smile on her face. "You rest, Rielle," she murmured, just loud enough for Sid to catch it with his horns. She helped the girl lay back down, leaving the water and pitcher. As she walked past Sid, she put a hand on his arm, leading him out of the room. "Make yourself at home," she told him quietly as she closed the door. "The baths are downstairs."

He nodded, then paused. "I... didn't see two beds in the guest room. Do you have another guest room?"

"I do not. But my bed is large enough to fit two Au Ra."

Sid coughed, knowing a flush was crossing his face at the implication.

A soft laugh escaped her throat. "To sleep, Sid."

He growled softly at her, pulling her close with a smile. "Just sleep?"

She smiled up at him, shifting in his loose grasp as she reached up, touching his face. "Why, I would think you had other plans."

Sid didn't know what to say in return. This was a situation he never thought he'd be in, and all words left him as he processed what she said. "I-"

Her hands pulled his face close. "Aye?" she murmured, the soft words spreading over his lips.

Before he could think twice about it, he bent down to wrap his arms around her legs, lifting her easily in his arms. A small yelp fell from her lips before he captured them. Her hands buried themselves in his hair as she returned the kiss, wrapping her legs around him.

"I might have other plans," he told her, his lips barely leaving hers to speak.

"Mm, I see."

He could feel her smile as he kissed her again, holding her tightly.

Chapter Text

This was... not what he expected to see. He had decided to visit the Warrior of Light while Rielle was studying her conjury in Gridania, his feet taking him down the Mist in La Noscea to a familiar house. She had given him a key in case he or Rielle wished to visit, or needed a safe place to stay. Sid had called her, ascertaining her location and a desire to see him, but she didn't respond to his greeting once he entered. Alarmed, he had searched her house, only to find her downstairs, in the bath, drowsing as her head lay on a book as if it was a pillow. She had been reading while relaxing, he noticed, coming closer, and fell asleep.

For a moment, he just took in the sight of the Warrior of Light, a woman who took down gods... relaxing in the bath. Soon enough, Sid reached down and touched her arm. "Hey. You're going to wake up with a sore neck, idiot."

She murmured sleepily, stirring. Slowly, she looked up at Sid, blinking tiredly. "Oh," she said softly, still drowsy. "I thought I would have been out of the bath when you arrived."

He shook his head as she closed the book and set it aside. Then he blinked, all words leaving him, as she stood. Of course she was bathing nude, he chastised himself. What was the point of bathing with clothes on? But he still couldn't tear his eyes away from how water ran across her skin, only barely managing to lift to her face when she wrapped a towel around herself. "Do you want some tea? I can-" She broke off as she took in Sid's expression, her eyes brightening with merriment.

Sid snorted, pulling her close. "You just took a bath. It'd be a waste to ruin that."

"Maybe we can bathe together next time," she told him, reaching to lace her fingers with his.

"I don't see much 'bathing' happening if we do that."

"Hm."

He didn't need to see the smile on her face as he leaned down to kiss her.




"Is this a bad..." Sid started, his voice uncertain.

She smiled weakly, pulling her robe around her tighter. "Probably," she answered in a weak, nearly gone voice before coughing so hard she doubled over. He could hear something rattling in her chest, the noise faint but wet as she pulled herself back upright. "Maybe next time, Sid."

He took her appearance in, from the trembling grasp on her robe to the ill flush on her cheeks. And the smell... "You haven't been able to keep anything down, have you?" When she winced, he continued. "Geez. Go lay down. I'll bring you something."

"You're going to cook?" she asked, raising an eyebrow.

"Hell no. I'm going to find someone who can and bring you back something easy to eat and drink. Go. Wrap yourself up with those godsawful blankets."

She started to laugh before coughing uncontrollably again. "They're comfortable," she finally managed to say. "Warm."

"Whatever. Go."

The Warrior of Light smiled before closing the door.




"Shh!" Rielle held a finger to her lips before Sid could follow her into the house. He immediately noticed why: the Warrior of Light, beloved idiot she was, had fallen asleep, yet again, on the couch in the living room, her head resting on the arm of the couch. Sid shook his head as Rielle tiptoed off to get a blanket to put over the sleeping Xaela, crossing his arms.

"You really need to start using your bed," he whispered to her sleeping form. When Rielle came back, tucking the blanket over her carefully, he looked over at his charge. "Do you want to stay until she wakes up or go back to Ishgard?"

Rielle looked at him, then back at the Warrior of Light.

Sid sighed. "She should have chocolate from last time."

That made Rielle's face light up as she turned to the kitchen. As the young Elezen searched for the sweet, he sat down on the couch next to the Warrior of Light. "You're going to wake up sore," he informed her softly.

She didn't wake up, too deep within the well needed sleep.




"Sid...?"

"You fell asleep on the couch. Again."

She murmured something indistinct as Sid pulled her into his arms, lifting her easily. Her room was mere steps away, he thought as she started to fall asleep again in his arms before he even took a step. She didn't need to curl up on the couch. He finally set her down in her bed, only to pause when she reached out as he pulled away. "Don't... leave me alone," she whispered. "Stay."

He didn't even need to consider the options as he nodded.

Chapter Text

Keep moving. Keep moving. The rain would hide their footsteps. Keep moving.

Sid didn't bother looking over his shoulder. Rielle would be following him. No matter how tired she was, no matter how much blood she had lost, she was going to be right behind him. She could cast a Cure when they made it to her house. Until then, keep moving. The Temple Knights would be finding their slaughtered assassins soon. They needed to get to her house, make it harder for them to get to Rielle as the two Dark Knights cut down the rest of them.

Keep. Moving.

Her house. Sid and Rielle dashed inside once the door was unlocked, Sid quickly locking it behind the two of them. He moved to the window, checking for any assassins, or worse (better) the corrupt Temple Knights themselves. They were in La Noscea, outside of Ishgard, but he doubted that would make it harder. He knew they followed him through the Mist. But now they had the advantage, the Temple Knights needing to breech their defenses before they could even set eyes on Rielle. And he and the Warrior of Light could easily cut down anyone who even tried.

But no attacks came. Maybe they had backed off? Cowards. He turned, watching Rielle healing herself, a slim pale figure barely seen by the light emanating from-

Sid put a hand to his sword, Rielle tensing as she held her staff up. He could feel her getting ready to cast a Stone as they made their way down the hallway to the Warrior of Light's bedroom. Sid pulled his sword free, entering-

Only to see the Warrior of Light sitting on her bed, her face shadowed by the dying lamplight. Sid settled the sword back in its sheath, looking her over. She didn't seem to have even noticed he was there. She was covered in blood, to the point he didn't know which was hers. He inhaled slowly, smelling the unexpected scent of gunpowder. Her hands were settled loosely on her lap as her greatsword rested on the floor next to her. Sid cleared his throat, alarm slamming through his veins as she didn't even look up. Finally, she turned her gaze upward, her eyes taking a moment to focus on him. "Sid," she whispered, her voice trembling.

"What happened?" Rielle asked, her body moving as if she wished to take a step forward.

She shook her head, as if trying to rouse herself. "I couldn't save her," she whispered. "I promised. I- and she-" Her shoulder heaved, a great sob escaping her throat as she put a hand to her mouth. "I promised," came the strangled words, slipping between her fingers.

He didn't deal with crying women.

But he sat down next to her, Rielle carefully doing the same on the other side. The only thing he could do was pry her hands from her mouth, holding them tightly, as Rielle wrapped her arms around her, heedless of her rain soaked clothes. "Don't be the next one," she pleaded, looking up at Sid. "Rielle, Sid... don't be the next ones to- to go where I can't-"

He didn't want to promise that. Even now, corrupt Temple Knights, who would do anything as long as a little coin and whispered words about heretics were involved, had tried to attack them again. He couldn't promise everything would turn out fine, not with that threat over their heads. So he didn't. He didn't promise something he couldn't keep. Instead, he leaned down, his horn gently rubbing against her own, hoping his hair didn't drip too much rain on her.

We're with you now he wanted to say. We're here.

But he couldn't promise anything.

Instead, he held her hands tightly, as if that would keep this delicate frozen moment most beautiful from breaking.

Chapter Text

If Sid were to be completely honest with himself, he couldn't remember the last time he and Rielle had set foot in Ishgard. The Forgotten Knight had lost the measure of safety it had, and they had needed to find somewhere that the Temple Knights who didn't listen to the Lord Commander but to coin pressed into their hands couldn't breech. It wouldn't seem like the residential district of La Noscea would be that such place, but it seemed the fact the Warrior of Light resided there made even the most foolhardy assassins think twice.

Moving to La Noscea had more important things than just an added measure of security. Rielle was now experiencing something Sid hadn't realized she needed: Friends. There were other children in the Mist, born from other adventurers for... whatever reasons they had for rearing children. And now Rielle could interact with others her own age. A great weight had loosened from his shoulders when he saw her laughing with another Elezen child, looking happier than ever. The urge to keep her safe still burned within, but... now she could have a childhood.

He heard movement behind him, the footsteps on a tiny redheaded Xaela in heavy armour. Sid turned, watching the Warrior of Light check her vambraces one last time. "You want backup?" he asked, crossing his arms. While Rielle looked like she was happy here, Sid wanted desperately to carve something up. He watched the Warrior of Light close her eyes... then shake her head. "Alright then. Leave no one alive."

"Are you going to hold that over my head forever?"

Sid snorted, remembering their first meeting. "Of course. I never would have thought the Warrior of Light was so foolish as leave anyone hunting her alive."

He expected to hear her retort, only for her to look away. Gently, he turned her face back to him, lifting her chin. "I'm not that girl anymore," she told him, her voice quiet as her yellow eyes met his.

"I would hope not," he told her, running his thumb across her scales. "You're not allowed to die. I'll have Rielle pull you back kicking and screaming if I have to."

"The same goes for you," she informed him, reaching up to cover his hands with hers. "If you're the next one to leave me I am going to kick your arse so hard you can't sit for a week."

"You'd have to get in line behind Rielle."

Finally, a smile crossed her face, and she leaned into the touch. They stood like that, Sid feeling her soft skin under his hands yet again. He would never get used to that feeling. She could easily kill him, but she was so tiny. Strong, but her skin felt so soft. The Saviour of Eorzea... and beautiful.

Words fell on his tongue, delicate and fragile, but he didn't speak them. Her eyes held the same words, her tongue still as well. But he could read them, hear them. They didn't need to say them.

Sid leaned down, pressing his lips to hers before rubbing their horns together. "Give them hell," he whispered against her horn.

"Of course."

He didn't expect anything else.