Today was a big first for me - I wore a two peice swimsuit in public in a looong time (like, before puberty long) and I felt CONFIDENT doing so. Sometimes you realize that the PRs aren’t everything.
The gym at the hotel is laaame (to be expected) amd only has cardio equipment and one bench, some dumbells and med balls. Where da squat rack at tho?
Lily squirmed in the dress she had been “encouraged” into.
The rich maroon satin creased under her palms as the thick golden earrings
clinked against golden caps that crimped the ends of each thick braid that ran
over her head. She had been dressed to match them all. Cullen was trapped
between her and his wife, Grace’s hand firmly holding him in place, his
youngest, Adelaide, wide-eyed and blinking at all the colors that swarmed the
ballroom. Only one word summed up his collective ire:
Josephine had let them know in her way that it would be very
detrimental to not attend this ball. Grace had nearly had a panic attack when
she had learned, causing all manners of worry for the baby she currently was
carrying. Halamshiral was not a place of pleasant memories for any of them.
One of the attendants ushered them forwards, his hawk like
mask garish in the light. The doors peeled open and a loud imperialistic voice
“Bann Rutherford, and his wife, the Lady Grace Rutherford,
Hero of Thedas. Accompanied by their two children, Lily and Adelaide
They walked forwards, Grace’s face flinching imperceptibly
as they entered the ballroom. Cullen squeezed her hand tightly, leading her
through the tiled hall and up the stairs, where he bowed low to the Empress.
Grace curtsied carefully, and Lily followed in kind, her head bending low.
Celene smiled gently, nodding at Grace and Cullen, and then addressing Lily
“It has been a long time since we have seen you, mon
petite,” she said quietly. Lily’s back stiffened. The Game had begun.
“Halamshiral is as though I never left, your Majesty. Truly
it is as eternal as the stars in the sky, and just as beautiful.”
Another small, scheming smile.
“Your mother has taught you well. If I may be so bold, I
would like to introduce you to my nephew, Alphonse,” Celene said, gesturing
languidly to the side. A young man took three large steps to her side, bowing
low towards Lily. Celene beckoned her closer.
“Papa?” Lily whispered, frozen in place. Cullen frowned.
Grace smiled pleasantly and started to guide Lily up the stairs towards the
Empress and her nephew. Cullen frowned more.
There were pleasantries exchanged, and Lily’s tinkling but
forced laugh rang over the ballroom. As the pair walked off, she looked
backwards, her face a mask of disbelief and a silent plea: get me out of here.
Song after song played and he was unable to get to her.
Lords and Ladies demanded his attention, and just as Lily seemed like she was
about to slip away, her paramour would swing her into the dance once again, his
faltering steps a far cry from her fast-paced, sweeping ones. She was far more
at home at court than he was, and she was hating every moment of it.
Grace had settled into a seat, and patted his arm gently, a
silent act of permission to leave her side. A duchess settled next to her and
started drilling her with questions, which she smiled and answered effortlessly,
a sly wink in his direction letting him know her approval.
They had timed it well, the dignified rescue of their
daughter. As the music wound down into a slow waltz, Cullen tapped the youth on
the shoulder. Lily smiled widely at him.
“May I cut in?”
Alphonse stiffened. “And who might you be, Serah?”
Cullen chuckled low, shaking his head. “I would be her
father. Now, may I cut in, Serah?”
Alphonse paled, his hand shaking as he stepped away with a
quick bow. Cullen moved into the space, spinning his daughter over the floor
effortlessly, the Lady Dowager Trevelyan’s lessons not going to waste as they
moved through the gentle, consistent steps of the waltz.
“Thank the Maker. I thought I would have to lead him into a
corner and kill him,” Lily whispered, making a face in Alphonse’s direction.
“Please don’t murder the nephew of the Empress, Lily. We
want to stay on good terms with the court,” he said, fighting the laughter that
threatened to bubble up. She shrugged
and spun around silently, catching the swinging skirt with her hand and tugging
it out of his way at the last second.
“He would be asking for it.”
“Still,” Cullen whispered, lifting her into the air and
turning around once, setting her down delicately, “best not open that can of
Lily bowed low and smiled as the song ended. “Uncle Dorian
would call the night a bore.”
Cullen laughed out loud this time, leading Lily off the ballroom
floor towards her mother and little sister. “Boring would be perfectly fine
(Praise the handsome and glorious thing that is Cell. Praise the adorkable thing that is him hitting on his student on Xenoverse. And praise you because you did a Semi-Perfect drawing that makes him almost cute♥)
PRAISE ALL THE CELLS! (Annnd there perfect cell goes and steals all the spotlight. BUT STILL) I love this godamn bug, in every form. Were all practically married to him in xenoverse and we should all praise the entire existence of this glorious game AKA GODAMN DATE SIMULATOR.
Overal, thank you so much dear :’D I am so glad aaaa!
more winter ball shenanigans, aka ‘the viscountess can’t leave the party bc she’s too important so she sends her consort and her ‘butler’ to ransack the palace while she eats canapes and farts on nobles