Wisteria Oakfall stood in the ankle deep snow, not even feeling the cold seeping into her metal battlements. Her armor clanked as she grasped her weapon and shifted, breathing in against the cold air, letting out a stream of hot and humid breath that shown and vanished into the cold surroundings. She took her weapon with her hand and took a step further onto the familiar stone gate, separating central Coerthas from Ishgard.
The Warrior of Light could not explain how good it felt to be home…. That was a strange word. Home. Wisteria waved a hello to the Gate Keep as he gave her a stiff salute and yoinked on the lever to pull open the massive metal gate. While waiting, the woman gazed out at the stone bridge. Surprised at how fast they’d rebuilt it after all the damage that at her lovely self and that damable wyrm had caused it. The gate finally finished rising and Wisteria went through, stepping down, back into the cold air and walked towards Ishgard.
For people that lived in Ishgard, it was hard to imagine that the Warrior was still living among them. She joined them for events, having random conversations with neighbors in the streets… that and to have the Ishgardian Leaders intended wandering around the stone city. Acting like there was no difference between those that lived in the Brume and those that lived in the Pillars. For Wisteria? There was no difference. These were people she’d saved, people she’d almost lost her own life countless times defending from wyrms, from Thordan, and she was happy to do it all over if that's what it took. She got questions, asking her why after all the time that Ishgard stood apart from the Alliance, how cruel they were to those seeking help, mind you Wisteria threw back Ul’dahs cruelty to refugees right back into their faces.
Wisteria was greeted by the usual mumble of hellos from the tower guards and those standing watch at the entrance to the city. Using her poor lance as a makeshift walking stick she waved a mild hello back to them and went about her walking. Traversing up the steps towards the Forgotten Knight and the Congregation of Our Knights Most Heavenly where she knew her beloved would be, Wisteria couldn’t help but stop for a moment and reminisce about when herself, Alpinaud and Tataru had wandered in after the disaster in Ul’dah with the Crystal Braves. Lost and without reason, Wisteria herself couldn’t help but feel betrayed. She had risked everything for those in Eorzea, again, her life, countless times, almost been burned alive, trampled alive, blown to dust, frozen… you name it probably happened to her. But they quickly turned on her with a misunderstanding with the Sultana…. Mephina bless her heart though, that lalafell had more resilient than a popoto. That’s why they had seemed to fit in so well with Ishgard. While they were wary of outsides, and the rich snooty beyond belief. Not exactly Wisteria’s type of people.
Having grown up in the not so nice part of her own home country, Wisteria prefered those who knew what it was like not to have much… even though herself had more than she could ever want. She would stray from the Foretemps, bless there souls for keeping her and the two remaining Scions safe, Wisteria would never be able to repay the kindness that the Count had shown her. Even as one of his sons had given his life for her. Haruchefant. Wisteria still couldn’t think of the late Elezen without shedding a few tears. As she was doing now, she wiped at her face while she stopped by the memorial that had been placed in square, replacing the tattered fountain that claimed this corner. Haruchefant forever in stone looking after the city that they both loved so dearly. She shot the statue a watery smile before turning away and stepped past, her weapon clanking against the ground.
The midlander pushed open the doors to the Congregation, several of the Temple Knights that were sitting around her intendeds planning table… it had some other name but out of playful spite for her fiance, she refused to learn it. Lucia was among the knights that were gathered around the table, she stood up and came over to the midlander at a rampant pace and threw her arms around Wisteria in an uncharacteristic fashion. The Midlander blanched for a moment before relaxing, and with one hand still clutching her weapon, wrapped her free arm around the taller women middle. “Nice to see you too Lucia, if I didn’t know any better I’d say you missed me.” Wisteria teased.
At this, Lucia scoffed and pulled back. “Am I not allowed to show my happiness through gestures to a friend?”
Wisteria laughed, stepping away from her and resettled her lance against the clasps in her armor that held it fast. “I didn’t know you considered us friends, pray color me surprised!” She retorted to the other woman who scoffed yet again and rolled her eyes. “Wheres Aymeric by the way?”
“Lord De Borel is in his chambers, meeting with several of the High Houses.” One of the Temple knights pipped up from the table, Beltadoris, if Wisteria’s memory was serving her correctly.
The dragoon heaved a sigh and let her shoulders slump. “Of course my surprise return home would have to be while he is meeting with his fancy prancy people.” A quiet chortle breaking out from the table in front of her. “I’m going back to the house… don’t tell him I’m back.” Wisteria grinned before turning around and walking out of the circular stone building that housed most of the knights.
In record time, Wisteria made it back to the house that she shared with Aymeric, technically she just crashed there about 90% of the time, despite having a room back at the Fortemps manor. Wisteria was reclined in the Ishgardian silk robe that was given to her by Aymeric as an engagement gift, and on these cold nights, it's what she loved the most. She sat in the window bay overlooking the city from there room, her hair resting against the wood of the window, watching as the city lit up, a beacon in the cold winter nights. Closing her eyes, the woman let memories play from her time in this city, saving it time and time again, fighting to set it free, saying goodbye to two of the bravest people she’d ever met, one of them much like herself. Saving Estinien and Alphinauds tears of joy… that boy hardly ever cried. Helping settle common street fights with her presence alone, caring for those in the Brume, shielding them from the barrage of attacks… and destroying that damn bridge, to protect this city from Nidhogg, seemed he never wanted to stay dead. If Wisteria had her way, she would make sure that he did.
A door being pushed open brought Wisteria from her revelry as she cast over to see her stunned looking fiancee, gaping at her from the doorway. “W-wisteria-” He gaped at her. Wisteria only looked at him, and gave him one of her rare smiles.