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Be the Star Encircling

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Ledah had known beforehand that the return of his emotions would make his life more complicated. He just hadn't known how much.

Some of his feelings are understandable and simple. He likes those. When Lina begs him to play with her, his emotions are first irritation, then boredom, then amusement as he finds himself enjoying the effort and intensity she puts into her game of hopscotch. Defeating Serene in a practice battle causes him to feel pride. Cierra leaves him confused when she coos over Rose. Spending time praying with Fia makes him feel content.

It's Ein. It's always around Ein that his emotions go haywire and he has absolutely no idea what's going on.

Sometimes he'll be talking to Ein and a smile will trigger his heart to beat faster. He knows that this is a sign of panic or fear, but there's no reason that he should have those emotions in response to Ein, who he knows means no harm, and he doesn't understand what else it could be. Other times, Ein will display a similar smile to another, perhaps one of the girls he traveled with, and he knows he's 'upset' but can't pin down a more specific term for the roiling in his stomach. They mean him no harm as well, so there isn't any reason to feel that way. Emotions are rarely logical, he remembers.

One of the others should know how to handle these. They've had emotions all of their life: even through secondhand information, they should be able to recognize them.

He chooses Cierra to ask. She seems the most worldly and the most sensible out of the four when it comes to what is important, although he wouldn't trust her for cooking advice. When she sits down with him and asks what strange emotions he's been having, he describes the context of each as best as he can and the physical sensations accompanying them.

Cierra considers for a few moment after he finishes, asks a few more contextual questions, then announces, "You like Ein."

Ledah raises an eyebrow. "We have known each other for many years and he risked his life to save me. Of course I like him."

"That isn't what I meant," Cierra answers gently. "You like him romantically. You may even love him."

...This right now that makes it difficult to speak is nervousness. Ledah tries again. "...It makes sense."

If he loved Ein, then feeling jealousy would be normal. Foolish, but normal. If he loved Ein, then seeing his smile directed at him would make him feel excitement and panic wrapped in one. It explains a good number of his emotions, although he suspects that he will never understand all of them. "Thank you, Cierra."

Cierra smiles. "You're welcome. Good luck."

It may mean 'good luck with your emotions' or 'good luck with Ein' or both. It isn't important right now. Ledah rises from his seat and goes to find Ein.

As he suspects, Ein is in the small house that they share. He looks over at Ledah and smiles when he comes in, and somehow what this triggers is even more complicated now that he understands part of what he feels for him. "I was just about to start making lunch - did you want anything, Ledah?"

"Not at this moment," Ledah replies, and moves very close to Ein. He pauses for a moment, knowing that he's invading 'personal space' but still having to consider how to phrase what he's about to say.

Ein looks confused, but doesn't step back. "...Ledah?"

"You make me feel... so much."

The rush of emotions when Ledah kisses him, and Ein squeaks before kissing him back, is difficult to sort out. At least one of them is joy, and that one is really all that's important.