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Scent of an Esper
by Archone

I kissed him on his freshly scrubbed forehead, as he snuggled deeper into the pillow. “Goodnight, darling,” I told him, as he closed his eyes, his arms clutching the stuffed moogle. I watched him drift off to sleep, before rising from the corner of the bed, and leaving the room, quietly closing the door behind me.

“Finally asleep, are they?” I blushed at the words, and lowered my eyes demurely.

“Your Majesty…” I murmured.

“It's Edgar,” he chided me gently. “You know that. How are they?”

“Fine, thank you.” I glanced back up at him. “Thank you for taking us in.” I leaned back against the door, behind which my adopted children slept in warm beds.

“I was happy to oblige.” Edgar reached out and touched my cheek with one hand. “I'd do anything for you. You know that.”

I clasped my hand over his, holding it to my cheek, as I closed my eyes, sighing involuntarily. “I know.”

When I released his hand, it remained. His other hand gently drew up to touch my arm, contacting me at two points. “Have you given any thought to-”

“Edgar!” I gasped. Trapped between the door and…

“Is it really so frightening? The thought of being a Queen?”

I shook my head, feeling like a deer cornered by wolves. “I… I don't know if I deserve to be…”

“Hush.” His face bore in, and I couldn't escape those hungry lips.

We kissed…

“You deserve it, Terra. You deserve the world.” Edgar grinned slyly. “After all, you helped save it. It owes you.”

“I don't… I'm not used… to being…”

“Loved?” He smiled, and pulled me in close, for a gentle yet firm hug. I let out a muffled sob as I buried my face into the lace of his shirt. He stroked the back of my head, while I held him tightly.

“I need to think about this, Edgar,” I moaned through his shirt. “I'm scared. I…”

“It's okay.” He let me go, and stepped back. “I can wait a little longer.” He turned to leave.

I watched him go, before turning and fleeing in the opposite direction. He was so kind. So sweet. So smart, too- all those inventions! So wonderful…

Of course, there was the opposite side of the coin. I found HIM in his chamber, meditating. His eyes flew open at my approach. “You… in my room…”

I blushed and glanced down, away from that burning gaze. “Sabin…”

He uncoiled from his position, rising to his feet with a panther-like motion. “So your kids are finally asleep, huh?”

I smiled. “Yes. Edgar was very kind, to give us a home.”

Sabin snorted. “That's Edgar for you.” He grinned, adding, “he's good at the charitable works.”

I smiled. “You've done your share of kind deeds, too. Remember that burning building?” I felt a warm glow at the thought. Celes had told me all about it- Sabin replacing a fallen support beam, while she ran in to save the children. A vision ran through my mind, of Sabin backlit by flames, his muscles defined with exertion, sweat dripping…

I swallowed, and blinked the vision away.

“Uh, Terra…? I've been thinking about whether to go train in the wild again.”

“Oh.” I didn't know what else to say.

“I don't know if I really want to, right now.” He took a step, drawing closer to me.

“…Why not?”

“There's something here worth staying for.” Another step…


“If I had it, I'd never let it go…” he lunged.

I never had a chance to evade, before he caught me in his vice like grip. His lips sought out mine, in a hungry kiss. My lips parted, and his tongue thrust in between them.

My knees gave way beneath me.

Sabin caught me before I could fall, gazing into my eyes with burning intensity. “Terra…” he growled.

“Sabin, please…” I whimpered, as my arms wrapped around his strong neck. He pulled me in close, to still my trembling.

“Be mine, Terra. Give me a reason to stay.” He began to rain kisses down upon my throat and shoulders.

“Sabin…” I sighed, melting into him.

Then I pushed away. “Sabin, PLEASE stop!”

He let go abruptly, staring at me in surprise. I trembled uncontrollably, crossing my arms over my chest and squeezing my eyes shut. I could feel his concern…

“It's too much, Sabin. I'm scared of it.” I felt tears begin to gather in my eyes.

“You don't have to be afraid of me…” he reached out…

“No!” I stepped back. “Not of you. Of this…” I shivered. “It's so powerful. And it scares me. I've never had this. And now it's coming at me from all sides…”

“Terra…” he moved to grab me again, to pull me close.

“I love you!” I cried out, even as I turned and fled. I raced down the halls, finally reaching my own room. I slammed the door closed, barring it tightly. I flung myself onto the bed, grabbing at the Umaro doll and squeezing it tightly.

I've never been loved before. And now I have friends. And children. And TWO men in love with me…

What do I do?

I glanced over at the candles on the table. The winter season, when everyone shares presents with their friends and loved ones. Edgar gave the kids little mechanical toys from his workshop… things that walked or spun or flew when you wound them up. Sabin gave them dolls to play with. I had nothing else to offer them, so I gave them hugs.



What do I do about you two?

I love you both. And it scares me. I don't deserve either of you, no matter what you say.

Oh… I sniffled into the little Umaro doll, and rubbed the white faux fur against my face.

Someone knocked on the door.

“Please go away!” I cried out. “I… I'm not decent!”

They knocked again. More insistently this time.

“Please!” I called out. “I'm not… not…” as I trailed off, I heard a strange sound. A low rumbling. My eyes widened.

A battle?

That must be it. I know that sound! Why would he use it, unless…

My door began to vibrate, as the chainsaw's blade bit through the tough wood. I jerked to my feet, casting about for a weapon, as the tool cut through the wooden bar, cutting it in two. The pieces fell to the floor with a dull clatter, and the door burst open, as Edgar applied his foot to it. He lowered the chainsaw, the rumble dying out.

“Edgar!” I gasped. “This is… most unseemly…” I gasped again, as he stepped into the room, and I saw who was behind him.

Sabin followed close behind.

I cowered on the bed, as they both stared at me with the same eyes. That same hungry look. Only now, there was anger there, as well.

“Why didn't you tell us we each had a rival?” Edgar demanded.

I blinked. “Was I supposed to?” His jaw dropped.

“It IS the polite thing to do, Terra,” Sabin offered, crossing his arms and glowering.

“I… I didn't know that…”

“Oh, come on!” Edgar snapped, “you mean you don't even know… the first thing…” he trailed off, looking at me questioningly.

“You weren't kidding about never being loved before, were you?” he asked.

I shook my head. “You know how I was raised. I never knew love… until Duane and Katarin and the others showed me.” I sniffled. “This is all new to me.”

“So…” Sabin swallowed heavily. I glanced up, and saw his trepidation. “Whom are you going to choose?”

I glanced at Edgar. His face bore a superficial look of diffidence. But I could see the pain underneath.

“Why should I have to choose?” I demanded. “I love you both! Is that so wrong?” I began to cry. “I've never had this before. Why can't I have as much as I want?”

I buried my face in my hands. I never saw what passed between them, in that moment, nor could I hear their whisperings over my sobbing. What I did hear, at last, was the sound of the door being rebarred by Edgar, as he slid a makeshift bar into place. I jumped up, staring at him incredulously. What was he doing?

I squealed in shock as Sabin's arms wrapped around me from behind. My back was pressed into his powerful chest, and I found myself unable to move. “What are you doing…?” I whispered. I felt terrified. I felt… excited…

“We never gave you our presents, Terra,” Sabin growled into my ear, as his hands clutched me in ways that made me gasp. Edgar approached from the front.

“We both promised to give you whatever you wanted. So mote it be…” he stage whispered hoarsely, as his hands clasped my hips, and his mouth sought out mine.

“Mmmm!” I groaned, fighting for the briefest of moments. Then I opened to him completely, letting him plunder my mouth as my body swayed under their touches.

When our lips parted, I was bereft of my strength. Only their strong arms held me up. I moaned.

Then I grinned.

“I know what present to give the both of you, then.” I giggled.

“Aren't you going to unwrap it, already?”

(Would it be redundant to state that we all lived happily ever after?)

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