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The Bliss Between

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As children, they always spoke of spring weddings.

“It's the best time of year for it,” Cordelia would say, with utmost seriousness, “Nothing else is nearly as romantic.”

And Sumia would nod; there was no time quite as grand as when all the flowers were in bloom.

But when they were children, they never spoke of this. All talk of weddings led to boys, to princes, to Chrom. It led to lovesick sighs and dreamy looks in Cordelia’s eyes, to Sumia’s eager encouragement and promises of being each other’s maid-of-honour.

Standing here, watching as Sumia nearly stumbles on the ends of her dress on her way to the altar, Cordelia is reminded that they aren't each other’s maid-of-honour.

“You're beautiful,” Sumia laughs, dimple spotting her cheek as Cordelia helps set her upright. “As always, of course!”

“As are you,” Cordelia says, and means it.

Standing before her, Sumia looks like a fairy tale princess. Her cheeks are aglow with a healthy flush, eyes sparkling even though her hands shake as she tugs and shuffles her many skirts. Flowers are interwoven in her hair and are scattered across the fabric of her dress, much like the ones that line Cordelia’s outer skirt and barrette.

Sumia’s beauty is the delicate sort. She's always been the type to look as though she'd break at the slightest touch — or stumble, as the case may be — despite her working her way into the Shepherds’ ranks. Her hands look so frail, yet Cordelia has held them enough times to know of the callouses battle has worn into her palms. She can't feel said callouses now, not with the gloves pulled over both their fingers, but knowing they're there constantly reminds Cordelia that Sumia is far from fragile.

Yes, Sumia is quite capable of sweeping Cordelia off her feet.

“I still can't believe it,” Sumia says, voice soft, hand squeezing Cordelia’s own. “I always imagined you would be whisked away by some prince.”

For longer than she cares to remember, so had Cordelia. Childish gushing grew to adolescent pining, which then grew to swearing her life and lance to a commander who would never look her way. Even at the start of the Mad King’s war, Cordelia remembers only dreaming of Chrom, of standing by the prince’s side and being his only comfort. But all that time, Sumia was at her side, Sumia was her comfort, and perhaps Sumia was always meant to be the one who grips her hand now.

Who cares for whether they were fated to be together or not, though? In this moment, Cordelia wants Sumia to be the one with her.

“I can't believe it, either,” Cordelia admits, “I never thought...”

She never thought Sumia could be in love with her.

But she doesn't have to finish that thought, not when Sumia smiles at her as she always has. Her eyes are alight with a warmth Cordelia’s never known from anyone else, an unconditional love almost alien to her despite her many admirers. More than anything — more than boys, than princes, than Chrom — that love is what Cordelia has always dreamt of.

“I love you,” she whispers instead.

“I know,” Sumia says, blooming radiantly, brighter than any flower either of them hold or wear.

There really is no time for weddings like the spring.