A day ahead of my earliest. Let it never be said that I put my own desires ahead of my readers.
Chapter 5: Till Death do us Part
There were no repercussive consequences for Talon's foul actions in yesterday's match. It turns out that the rules specifically state "Champions are forbidden to fight outside of the Fields of Justice." Riven didn't really care, she just happened to hear it on her arcane reciever - television - while she was getting dressed. She used to only have her old armor as clothes, but Orianna insisted on buying her new ones when she moved in. The only one she ever considered wearing was a green suit. Green pants and a green shirt with a long sleeves and a hood. Sometimes she thought about ripping the left sleeve off and stitching armor on it as back-up armor for matches.
Irelia moved into the living room and sat on the couch. Her mind was a mess, actually, mess sounds too kind. It was more of a tornado. Riven almost died. Check. She just kissed Riven. Okay, got that. She liked it. uhh... Yeah, got that. Riven liked it? She didn't know. She groaned while mentally scolding herself for her hastey actions. Why had she done it? Oh. Because she liked Riven. Wait, what? Since when? She didn't know. But when Riven walked in with her hood down and a smile painted on her face, Irelia knew it was entirely true. She did like Riven. "Oh, ****! Stop staring," she scolded herself again as Riven saw her on the couch.
"So... What was that about?" She gave an apprehensive look, sitting on the other side of the couch. Irelia turned her head away. This was going to be a long talk.
"I... Well, you see..." She sighed, then turned to face Riven. "Let me tell you a story. I've never told anyone about this, so just listen and I'll answer when it's over." She took a breath before beginning. It was getting hot and she knew it wasn't just her nervousness. She was having trouble keeping her eyes from wandering down Riven's heavenly figure. "When I was younger, I had a girlfriend-a real one, not a girl friend- and her name was Xivianna."
Back in Irelia's teenage years...
The back of her head, all down her back, and her legs ached. She was laid in something exquisitely soft that smelled like cherry blossoms, though she couldn't name it. She went wide-eyed at the recollection of her last memory; a rock smacking her in the head while she was... She was.. Kissing Xivianna? Her nemesis? How did...
She stopped trying to make sense of her memories and concentrated more on her surroundings. She was sideways, looking out a window. It was sunny outside, the azure sky swathed in chromatic, smoky clouds. She could see the pillars of light shining through the window, settling on the dust particles that sat in the air, recoloring them until they could easily be mistaken for gold glitter. Judging by the angle the light welcomly intruded through the glass ingress, it was just before noon.
The wooden knob of the door twisted causing Irelia to turn to the door, which swung ajar and revealed a cheerful Xivi. She was holding a tray with scrambled eggs, toast, bacon and orange juice. She promptly carried the tray over to Irelia and placed it next to her before she slid on the other side of the bed to sit with her crush.
"Did you carry me here last night?" Irelia noticed the pictures of Xivi and some older people that had a resemblance to her, her parents. She also noticed a silver-framed picture on her black nightstand with a fancy engraving on it that she could not read, insinuating Xivi's particular fondness of it. It was of Irelia. A picture of her from a year ago. It was the first match they played against eachother. She didn't mention that she'd seen it to Xivi, not in favor of putting her in the unpleasent situation.
"Yeah. How's your head? Does it still hurt?" Irelia felt a sensitive lump on the back of her head, obscured by her moon-colored hair, which mitigated a considerable amount of the pain during the initial strike, where the rock hit her. Now that she thought about it, she saw Xivi had a cut on her forehead, a very small one.
"It's fine. How'd you get that cut?" She asked as she ate a fork's worth of eggs. Xivi looked at her funny and traced the trajectory of her eyes. She put a hand on her head and winced.
"Must have been from the woods. It's about the time of year when the thorns start growing. Heh, I didn't even notice it until now," she replied after she swallowed her toast. Irelia looked over Xivi, still sporting her uniform from, what she assumed was yesterday. Irelia had a habit of hiding her lusty emotions towards other people from herself, leaving them abeyant until they abruptly decided to trigger. Sometimes, times like now, she never even knew she was attracted to people until she just did. Completely out of the blue. Her case was a baffling one, but it never really mattered to her.
"That could get infected, ya'know. Actually, where's your herb garden?" Irelia's father taught her how to treat all common wounds. Since he didn't have the time to attend her foot ball games or go with her and her friends wherever they went, he deemed it necessary to teach her basic and advanced first-aid. He also taught her intermediate self-defence, but that was more because of his proficiency in the art of fighting. He knew that, eventually, Irelia and Zelos would be his predecessors. His legacies. Nevertheless, she was more than capable of patching up a small little cut.
"Just this way." Irelia blushed when she felt Xivi hold her hand and pull her out of the room. It, like all other Ionian houses, was small, but it was still built to impress. The house itself was made of the durable wood that the island's abundant supply of trees produced. Trinkets and heirlooms lined hand-carved shelves, some old and buried under a thick coat of dust, some fancied a polished luster indicating their newness or the care they were luxuriously issued. There was a black bear-skin carpet spread on the floor, between the hand-carved furniture that was equipped with plush, purple cushions. Irelia never gave much thought to purple, but Xivi was quickly changing it into her favorite color.
The duo left the house and immediately entered the garden. It was a very high quality garden and Xivi's mother clearly took vanity in her achievement. Irelia picked a white herb that she knew made a good antiseptic, then another green one that accelerated cell mitosis so her cut would heal faster.
"This may hurt alittle," Irelia warned before applying the antiseptic. She rubbed a white leaf over the cut, slighty surprised that Xivi didn't even blink. In truth, she was lost in Irelia's eyes, too consumed to notice. Irelia smeared a the green leaf on and pulled a bandage out of her pocket. Her father always made her carry at least one at all times. She stuck it on and kissed the top of the bandage for extra love, mischievously giggling at the blush she'd drawn from Xivi.
"So, are you both still together?" Riven asked after Irelia went silent, reminiscing about that day. She noticed how Irelia used the past-tense, but she was curious anyway. She frowned while Irelia stayed quiet for a long time after that, and Riven became very uneasy.
"Yes... Yes we are." She smiled. "So about a year after that..."
"Happy 18th birthday, Lia," Xivi said when Irelia finally awakened, punctuated with a kiss on the cheek.
"Mmmmm, what'd'cha get me?" She turned around on the couch to meet the garnet eyes of her lover, who held a medium-sized, black box and brandished a smirk. Xivi was never one to disappoint her and this would be no exception, quite the opposite if anything. Their was a red ribbon tied around it with her name custom-printed on in white, lavender scented letters. Irelia loved the smell of lavender; she found the aroma to be highly intoxicating.
"Awww. Have I ever told you how much I love you and don't deserve you?" She cooed, taking the box in her hands. She untied the bow and opened the top of the box... It was a ring.
"Will you marry me, Lia?" Irelia's eyes melted like gold, tears of pure happiness trailing down her flushed cheeks, onto her quivering smile. She sniffled and wiped her tears away before reconnecting her love-repleted gaze into her lover's eyes and, beyond that, her soul.
"Yes! Right now!" She embraced Xivi in her arms, pouring tears onto her shoulder while their hearts hugged between them. They didn't plan on inviting anyone to their wedding anyway, not even their families knew about their relationship. And they never we would.
"Right now? Here?" Xivi didn't mind it at all, she was just convinced that they could find a much better place to have such a precious moment together. Irelia, however, was perfectly satisfied with their home, for they owned a house together.
"Yeah, just stand with me right here. We can think our vows up on the spot. We don't even need a reverend or all the yammering that they carry with them." They stood by a hearth in the middle of their living room. Xivi spawned a small orb of violet, molten fire and threw it into the hearth, igniting the hearth with a series of crackles as the purple light smothered the wood, then the hearth's marble features. Xivi was one of the few Ionians who were born with mana in their blood. Irelia felt so special when Xivi summoned a purple heart in the sky for her one day, the day she told her she could manipulate magic.
"Okay... I, Irelia of Ionia, promise to love you, Xivianna of Ionia..."
"Through and through..." Xivi chimed in.
"Always and forever..." Irelia added.
"Till death do us part. I now pronounce you mine, and myself yours. You may now have your way with me my wife..."
"She always did make me laugh." There it was again - the past-tense.
"If you're still together, why do you talk about her like you aren't?" Riven observed Irelia's expression as it went from happy to a teary-eyed depression. She regretted asking already, Irelia's contagious sorrow infecting her too.
"Not long after that, my father died and the battle of the placidium took place..."
The bright warm, rays of the sun broke the dawn, a misleading pretense befell upon the day and blocked out all of the ominous signs that tried to warn the misfortunate and unsuspecting Ionians. The sun was met with a thick fog of mist that would serve the Noxians well in their invasion, providing a natural cloak for their awaiting infantry-transport boats. General Swain planned it all too perfectly, but he was reknowned as the Master Tactian for a reason.
Fate bade Irelia awaken early with purpose. She'd been up for an hour so that she could visit her father's grave and pay him his respects and she tipped a stream of mourning tears. This was a burden she carried alone; she would never let Xivi see her like this. Perhaps if she had brought her this one time, however, she would be able to hold her for support one last time. But no, she could not have even that, and even the Reaper himself didn't know why.
She walked half-heartedly down the dirt path that was surrounded by Ionia's relaxing water from the many waterfalls that perched around the Placidium. This was where her new new home was, where their new home was. Her father left it to her in his will. It was a painful daily reminder of him, often times she couldn't stand living in it, despite it's beauty, and left for the sake of it.
She grinned when she re-entered her home, eager to return to Xivi for comfort and the rest of her sleep. She looked at her slumbering lover, a desire to cuddle rushing over her and making her stomach somersault. She slid in next to her and shut her eyes.
But something was wrong... The bed wasn't warm. Where there should have been a welcoming warmth there was a recoiling chill, just below room temperature, but chilling no less. She wiggled closer to Xivi for warmth to no avail. Something was definitely wrong. Xivi's skin was cold and paler than usual, and Irelia couldn't hear any breathing aside from her own.
"Xivi?" When there was no answer, Irelia bolted up and looked at Xivi. She shook her and nearly shouted Xivi's name, but she knew that Xivi was dead. She leaned her head onto the corpse crying, not even caring how she'd died, only being shredded on the insides by the stark horror of her father and the only person who she confided in both dieing.
She would have mourned stayed there and mourned for days if she could. But not 20 minutes after that, Ionia's sirens sounded and boomed all over the entire island. Someone was attacking the island. Irelia stuck her head back up, listening to the sirens and the marching of the Placidium's militia as they headed out to defend. She took a last glance at Xivi and disregarded the light green liquid that dripped from Xivi's mouth, then headed out to assist the militia.
"Why did you say yes, then? When I asked if you were still together?" Irelia was trying her hardest not to cry without much success. She bawled her eyes out just like she did a year ago. Riven wasn't having much success either. Her soft heart turned to stone long ago, but to not cry from such a story would be inhuman.
"...Because... Always and forever. Not even death could stop us," she said as she wiped the tears off her sensitive cheek. She'd been doing this for a while now. Riven decided it was Irelia's turn to be held, she deserved it. She moved across the couch and pulled Irelia in close, their tear-stained cheeks rubbing against eachother. It only reminded her of the times when Xivi hugged her and made her hug back tighter, her blades falling below the red orb as if to indicate their mutual sorrow. Riven didn't know what to say, she'd never had a friend with these kinds of problems. She did the only thing she could think of.
"I've never been in love, you know? My parents died when I was about 4. I never even had friends. The closest things I had to friends were my comrades and..." She paused, reliving a flashback from the day she left her companions to die in the gas. They were crying uncontrollably now, squeezing eachother for comfort.
"... And they all died in a toxic bomb from our own people." They clung to eachother as if their tears were glue, comforting eachother in their time of need.
"You've got me," Irelia promised. They both managed to pull the lever on the waterworks, cleaning themselves up and gazing into eachother. Similar thoughts vacillated in their minds, permission being asked through their eyes. Irelia was the first to lean forward...
"Hello, Riven, Irelia," Orianna exclaimed after she entered, Ball following shortly behind. Startled, they both looked at Orianna, blushing. "Riven, I just heard that Noxus is protesting for suffrage and assumed you'd like to know."
"Really? It's only been an hour and a half." Riven was excited, but she didn't show it. More precisely, she didn't know how to show excitement. The only thing that ever coaxed forth a reaction that could be remotely described as excitement was the feeling she got when Irelia held her, which to her felt more like love. But there was a blurred line between the two in her opinion.
"Yes, and the military won't fire on the protestors, because crowd is made up of nearly 90% of Noxus's population." Riven's mouth opened a little and she was completely unaware, too amazed at her people's cooperation. Orianna sauntered into her room to recharge, likely drained from her last 2 consecutive matches. Irelia got up to stand guard outside, her blades lifting and dancing in the air beside her, lightly indicative of Irelia's feelings for Riven.
"As for your initial question: well, I like you Riven." She only liked Riven for a half an hour, but she was so sure of herself. Riven, on the other hand, wasn't into girls and that still held true. Technically, anyway. She was compelled to Irelia by her actions when she saved her life, not for her being. She didn't know it, but her love was only temporary. Riven got up and grabbed her by the shoulder when she opened the door.
"I never did say thank you for saving me..." She spun Irelia around and kissed her, on the lips, goodbye. "Thank you, Lia."