Fictober Day 13: “I Never Knew It Could Be This Way” (Fire Emblem: Three Houses)

sorry for the lateness i had to kick a migraine in the metaphorical ass

I don’t know if this is really spoiler-y (I didn’t even pick a House here), but… Spoiler warning for the game, just in case.

The monastery wasn’t so bad after all, Byleth thought, all things considered. There were too many people for her liking, admittedly, but she still managed to keep to herself and finish her daily tasks undisturbed.

And the fishing pond was nice. She’d spend most of her free time there when it wasn’t too crowded. Although lately she noticed people leaving the second she approached. She had no idea why that could possibly be.

She was proud of her students, too. She’d been watching them grow and learn from her lessons, and learn from each other. She hadn’t felt such pride or adoration before as a mercenary. There was a lot she hadn’t felt then, she realized. And never to this type of intensity, either.

I never knew it could be this way, Byleth thought to herself, shifting the books in her arms. She’d have more time to sort through all of them later, when it was nighttime, but for now she just wanted them on her desk so she didn’t have to keep carrying them. She had other things on her mind for the moment, and the sooner she finished with her work, the quicker she could focus on them fully.

“There you are,” Jeralt said when Byleth walked into the captain’s quarters several minutes later, free of books and her bag a lot lighter. “How have things been for you? Are you holding up alright?”

It had been awhile since they’d come to the monastery originally, at least several months, not that Byleth had given the passage of time much thought. She took every day one step at a time as she always had, such that the days went by so quickly and yet so slowly.

“I have,” Byleth answered calmly, trying to smile but unsure if it looked convincing. She’d been told, quite often in fact, that she seemed to wear a constantly blank expression on her face. She didn’t think her attempts to fix that were working.

“Do you feel comfortable here?” Jeralt pressed, and Byleth could tell that he was concerned. What all he was concerned about, she wasn’t sure aside from the immediately obvious. She knew if she didn’t like Garreg Mach, he wouldn’t hesitate to get them both far from it again.

“I think I like it here,” Byleth said after a moment of silence. “I like my students. I don’t mind the other professors.”

But I don’t know how I feel about Rhea, Byleth let that thought go unspoken.

“Really?” Jeralt sounded surprised, but also relieved. “And here I worried being around so many people would be too much for you… Good to see there was nothing to worry about. Looks like this was good for you after all.”

Byleth wanted to ask him what his real worries were, but she figured they had to do with Rhea. And if it was Rhea… she didn’t want to mention her concerns. She wanted to stay here, where she had a sense of belonging in spite of the cloud of those doubts that hovered and grew.

But she had her students. She had her father. That was all she really needed, wasn’t it?

She’d always have them. She knew that to be true.

whistles innocently

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