Theme+Number: 59) What Might Have been
Pairings/Other characters: Seymour/Shelinda, Tromell
Summary: Seymour and Shelinda develop a brief relationship during their journey to Bevelle.
Author’s Note: This came about after re-playing and reading over the game script. I found it interesting how, much like Seymour, Shelinda seemed one step ahead of the party and near the Maester at most times. I know it may be a far-fetched idea, but for two characters that aren’t on very many “favorites” lists, I thought I would give them a shot. I decided to just split the fic into 3 parts.
If this is what living underground was like, Shelinda was starting to understand why the forest creatures burrowed so deeply during the winter. The young acolyte allowed a timid hand to brush against one of the walls of the sitting room. The organic texture of it was both mysterious and comforting, as if nature had wrapped her up in a protective cocoon to shield her from the dangers of the Thunder Plains. She couldn’t help but bounce nervously on the balls of her feet, thinking of how envious everyone would be when she told them that she had been granted an audience with the new guado Maester.
Her eyes wandered over to the bookshelves, the ancient tomes calling out to her to discover some secret of past ages or the deep wisdom of Yevon. She leaned closer, rubbing the dusty spines with her thumb to decipher the title of each book. As she read each one out loud to herself, letting the words swim around in her head, she could barely understand one title from another. Lifting one of the books off the shelf and letting it fall open at random in her arms she gazed at the formal script which appeared to be written in a different language, perhaps a guado dialect.
“Yevon’s students become far too curious for their own good more so each year I fear,” a voice spoke up from the entryway. Shelinda felt the heavy book slip from her arms for a moment and she jerked to catch it before it clattered to the floor. Her gaze lifted as she saw the maester standing there, arms folded and eyes peering at her with a coldness that seemed to touch her very bones.
“Forgive me Maester Seymour, I did not mean to pry! I know these must be valuable. I can’t even understand what is written in them. I mean, I’m just an acolyte so I havn’t studied much yet of course-“ Shelinda was cut off as Seymour walked across the room in a few heavy strides and grabbed the book from her hands and turned away to replace it upon the shelf. She lowered her head and scuffed her shoe against the floor feeling like she did when her mother would scold her as a child when she would make a mess.
After a long moment of silence she glanced up once more to see the maester still standing over her, one long finger running along his jaw as if he were trying to think of some suitable punishment to pass down for violating ancient guado texts. Shelinda tried to fight back the memories of all the strange stories she had heard about the guado and their peculiar ways. They were said to be quiet people, but their reclusive attitudes gave way to mystical stories of what their habits may be away from public view. What if he decided she should be thrown into the Farplane as punishment!
“Am I to continue to stand here and simply guess your name or do you wish to properly introduce yourself to me? They did teach you that at least at the temple of your hometown I would hope.” Seymour gestured to a chair near the middle of the room, offering Shelinda to sit.
“Oh, my name! My name is Shelinda and I’m currently only an acolyte for Yevon, but I hope to go to Bevelle and become a nun for the main temple,” she stumbled over her words, bowing twice to Seymour. “It is an honor to speak with you Maester Seymour; you are an inspiration to everyone. I’m so sorry to hear about your father.” She sat down carefully and folded her hands in her lap to keep them from trembling.
Seymour’s mouth tightened at the mentioning of his father and he turned his gaze back to the old books. “Yes, you mentioned your status as an acolyte. You realize that your training will be rather difficult?” He ran a curious finger along the spine of a book, smiling at some past memory.
“Yes, I was told this, but honestly I can’t see it being any more difficult than seeing what I have witnessed over the past few weeks.” Shelinda looked down at her feet once more, remembering the attack at the blitz tournament and then later operation Mi’hen. “I even assisted during operation Mi’hen, or at least tried my best to do so. I guess there isn’t a whole lot an acolyte like myself can really do. Even before it started I tried to tell everyone that it was a bad idea. Do you not think that the wrath of Sin was because the fighters had used machina?” She quickly covered her mouth with both her hands, realizing that she had said too much. Seymour’s eyes looked into hers with an emotion she could not read and it frightened her.
“Don’t believe that you have to still your tongue around me. You are allowed to voice your opinion, but you should learn to keep those kinds of thoughts to yourself when you arrive in Bevelle. There were many reasons that machina were used at Mi’hen and if the Grand Maester supported the idea then we must realize the greater good that could come about by working together to defeat Sin.” Seymour stepped closer to her and placed a hand on her shoulder. “Though I admire your will to speak up about such things, it will be a trait that you will soon lose I am afraid.”
Shelinda wasn’t sure exactly what to say. He was complimenting her, but at the same time she worried about his opinion towards Yevon. Shouldn’t he be worried about what happened with the machina? She continued to look up into his face, a part inside of her told her she should be repulsed by his half-guado appearance, yet her teachings in Yevon and the simple every-day wisdom her mother and father taught her told her to accept him for all of his differences. He was half-man after all and it was plain to see from the smooth, sharp features of his face that were so different from the earthy looks of full guado men. It was the markings upon his forehead, not to mention his rather limb-like hair, betrayed his other origins.
“Th-thank you Maester Seymour, I am honored that you compliment my efforts. I hope to make Yevon proud. I want to assist in the summoner’s journey as much as I can.” She bowed low in her seat.
“Oh, I have reason to believe that you will do quite well Shelinda. It is obvious you have already faced many trials on your journey to Bevelle and though you have only claimed to be a lowly acolyte, you have survived. To see so much suffering and still be strong, that is what Yevon asks of us. You may not realize it, but many who have started out just as you have are easily swayed from their post. There are even summoners who, even inches away from Zanarkand, have simply turned around and left their journey completely. Those who witness true pain and suffering and still march onward, we are the ones who will defeat Sin and change Spira.” Seymour let his hand move slowly to Shelinda’s neck, his fingers slowly winding a piece of her auburn hair loosely between his fingers.
She stared up at him, wide eyed with wonder, trying to figure out how such a man had not already defeated Sin. She could feel the energy building in the room with every word he spoke. Her faith was sealed in him at that moment and whatever doubts she had had seemed rather foolish. Here was a man who had lived through the hardship of a mixed parentage, spent every moment of his adulthood training to become a summoner, witnessed the death of his poor father, and already having to deal with the heavy title of a Maester. If anyone could defeat Sin and bring the final Calm, it would be him! She could not express how much his words meant to her at this very moment.
She suddenly felt hot tears running down the sides of her face, not knowing when she had begun to cry. Maester Seymour smiled softly down at her, running a thumb over her cheek, wiping the tears where he could. “Tears? I hope you do not cry for me Shelinda, there will be great joy to come soon. I will help defeat Sin and all the suffering of Spira will end, you’ll see. There will be no need for tears after I am through.”
“I cry because it will be a shame to see such a great leader… no, a great man have to leave us in order to carry out such a task! I now see why the guado adore you so and why you have made such a great Maester.” Shelinda raised her arm to wipe her face on her sleeve, trying to recover from her sudden outburst of emotion. She could only suspect that he found her foolish now and simply trying to gain favor with him to gain a high post at the temple in Bevelle.
Seymour lowered his head and closed his eyes for a moment and began to chuckle softly, but within moments he was laughing whole-heartedly and having to hold himself up. His hand slipped away from her and he began to calm himself. He looked up to see her face burning red with embarrassment which caused him to stifle his laugh finally. “Do not think that I laugh at you Shelinda, let us just say that I find your words far too much. You give me too much credit and I do not appreciate hearing such praise when I have only just begun to solve the problems of Spira.” He reached out and touched her face once more, his nails lightly brushing against her jaw line. “I am glad you have stopped your tears though, they did not suit your face at all.”
Shelinda felt her body quiver as his nails trailed carefully along the nape of her neck before resting against the stiff collar of her robes. She suddenly realized how close and warm everything seemed within the room and she wished that Yevon’s traditional robes were not so confining. “I believe you will defeat Sin, I know you will. I will do everything within my power to help you Maester Seymour.” She stood quickly and bowed to him once more.
“You will do everything Shelinda? I am honored to have such a follower.” Seymour placed his hands upon her shoulders and brought her close to him. She gasped, unsure of what he was about to do. Before she could speak he leaned in closely and kissed her full upon the mouth. He felt her body go stiff against his, but as the moments passed her hands lifted from her sides to rest upon his chest. His own flesh tightened at the cold, trembling touch of her hands.
She was definitely not the first woman he had ever kissed. There had been a few here and there. One would think that being a half-guado, a freak of nature, would cause women to run from him, but that was not so. He had proven many a time during his training in Bevelle that he was very much a capable and strong soldier for Yevon. He remembered many a hot evening after his practice, watching the young priestesses eye the men he trained with and their surprise when he defeated those men. Women appreciated a man who had a vision and the power to carry it out.
Shelinda’s own mind was reeling, unsure if she should push him away if he was simply taking advantage of her or if he truly had fallen for her. She was not put off by such a kiss by any means. How many women could say they have kissed a Maester, or a man with such power as he? It was an honor to send him off to Sin with her kiss upon his lips. It was almost as romantic as the stories her mother had told her of Lady Yunalesca and Lord Zaon.
“Lord Seymour, Lady Yuna and her guardians have arrived. Oh, excuse me Lord Seymour I did not know you were, well,” a voice stammered near the doorway. Seymour broke the kiss and turned to see his servant Tromell nervously twiddling his thumbs.
“Very well Tromell, see to it that they make themselves at home. I will be there shortly.” Seymour stepped away from Shelinda as if nothing had happened. His mind began to focus on the true task at hand. Yuna was the strength he needed by his side to defeat Sin.
“Maester Seymour,” Shelinda spoke up softly. “Thank you for allowing me to meet with you. It shall forever be the highlight of my journey.” She felt the blush creeping to her face once again.
Seymour bowed to her. “Do not be so quick to assume we shall not meet again Shelinda. I shall have Tromell return and provide you with any supplies you may need to cross the Thunderplains safely. I’m sure you will be heading to Macalania Woods as well so I will arrange for one of my guard to meet you there to ensure your safety. I wish to talk more with you about your thoughts concerning Yevon, your support is much appreciated.” He placed a hand upon her shoulder once more and with a gentle smile he turned to leave.
Shelinda dropped into the chair with very little grace. She was speechless with what had happened and she covered her mouth as she began to giggle to herself. He was even going through the trouble to make sure she would be protected on her way to Bevelle and most importantly wanted to see her again! She was already daydreaming about her next encounter with him. Would he scoop her up into his arms as she ran to him and kiss her while whispering his deepest thoughts of her? She tingled at the thought.
Her hand reached up to touch her lips, often reading in stories how a girl’s lips would burn from the kisses of her lover. As her fingers traced along the edges of her mouth though, there was no heat there at all. It was if she had been simply dreaming the entire thing to begin with. Yet she hadn’t imagined it at all, but who in the world would believe her?