perfectworry: meet me in the door with the desert in the morning I am there (found in the snow)
[personal profile] perfectworry
title: Temper Tantrums
spoilers: through volume 21
rating: K
notes: just a little bit about Fay's backstory, when he was a small child in Celes; written a little while ago after one of [personal profile] corvae_regina's fics inspired me to write something about tiny!Fay, because he's adorable (character bias, what character bias?)

Temper Tantrums
"You're adorable."

"Eh?" Fay jumped a little, startled by the sudden noise in the usually silent library.

"I said you looked cute," Ashura repeated, smiling down at him.

"Oh." Fay tugged anxiously on the hem of his sleeves, unsure what to say or do.

"You should get some rest." Ashura leaned over the books stacked in front of Fay. He picked one up and leafed through it; all of the pages were blank. "Have you memorized all of these?" He placed the first book down and lifted another from the stack. It was blank as well.

Fay nodded. "They're all attack magic, though," he said forlornly. "I just can't seem to remember anything helpful. Look." He picked up a book of healing spells and ran his fingers over the text; the words lifted and shimmered, but fell back into place almost immediately. "See?"

Angry at himself, he threw the book down onto the desk. It slammed down and skidded into the haphazard pile of books and scrolls he had memorized and causing them to tumble down. A thick one at the top slid and landed on him, smacking him squarely between the eyes.

Fay grabbed the book and threw it at Ashura with all of his might, screaming. Ashura caught it easily and let it fall to the floor with the pile of blank books. Ashura knelt beside the tiny child and wrapped his arms firmly around his middle. Fay struggled at first, his small hands balled up into fists. He kicked Ashura and yelled at him, but Ashura didn't let go.

"Let go of me," he screamed, pounding his fist against Ashura's shoulder.

"No," said Ashura, still holding him tightly, though he winced as Fay kicked him hard in the thigh.

"Leave me alone," Fay shrieked. "Go away."

"No," Ashura said again. "I'm not going to leave you alone, Fay. I'm not going to go away."

"Yes you are," sobbed Fay. "Yes you are, everybody does."

"I'm not," insisted Ashura. "Not for a long, long time," he added under his breath, but Fay couldn't hear him over his own wailing. He was a very determined, very sad little child, but he was still just a child. No matter what he had seen or been through, Fay was still just a small child. That in mind, Ashura endured the sharp little kicks and punches when Fay flew into a tantrum.

Fay tangled his hands in Ashura's hair and clung to him. He felt warm and safe and wished he could share the feeling with the real Fay. Did the real Fay feel safe down beneath the castle with Chii, the way he felt safe up here with Ashura?

"C-can we go see Fay?" he asked after awhile, as his breathing returned to normal. Fay sniffled and wiped his face on his sleeve as Ashura was pulling out a handkerchief, which he made disappear with a rueful smile.

"Of course." Ashura took Fay by the hand and helped him down the stairs. He was reminded again how young Fay really was. Though the child had cast a complicated spell of sealing and given human form to the magical feather he had found, he was still too small to take the stairs by himself. Each step came up nearly to his knees. With one hand, Fay held on to Ashura's cloak for balance. With the other, he dragged the magical staff along with him.

"I want to show Fay," he explained.

As soon as they made it to the bottom of the swirling staircase, Fay let go of Ashura and ran across the room to the quiet pool where his twin lay. He stumbled once over the hem of his robes, but picked himself up quickly. Chii swam up to greet him.

"How's Fay?" he asked, kneeling by the pool.

"The other Fay is the same as he was when Chii met him. But how is this Fay?"

"I'm ..." he was going to say fine, but fine was what he said when he didn't want his brother to worry about him. He was better than fine. He was warm, and fed, and Ashura had given him a medicinal salve for his hands and chapped lips. "Oh!" he exclaimed, digging through one of his pockets. "Can you give this to Fay for me, Chii? Ashura gave it to me, and it helped a lot." He placed a small jar in her hands.

She took it and folded her long fingers carefully around it. "I'll give it to him," she promised, "and I'll tell him that you're well."

"Thank you." Chii started to float away, but Fay called out. "Wait! Tell him one more thing. Tell him -"

"That you'll do anything to bring him back, and that you're sorry." Chii cut him off, but her voice was gentle. Fay told her that every time, and she told the other Fay.

"Thanks," said Fay. He watched her as she sank back to the bottom, where the other Fay lay. The ripples from her motion disguised the ones left by his tears.

"Come, child." Ashura took Fay's hand again. Fay resisted, standing rooted to the spot by the pool. "You mustn't spend all of your time here. The other Fay wouldn't want you to."

"You're right," said Fay, allowing Ashura to help him up the stairs. "I have to go study more."

"No, my dear child. You should sleep, and then you should go outside to play. I think you've studied enough for today."

"But I still don't know any healing spells," cried Fay. "I don't want to attack Fay!"

Ashura shook his head. "While the other Fay is waiting, you need to live so that you have stories to tell him when he wakes up." Fay frowned. "You've memorized enough for today. At the rate you're going, I'll have to get a whole new library."

Fay stopped suddenly, causing Ashura to stumble as he was still holding on to his cloak. "I ruin them, don't I?" he asked suddenly. "The books. If I memorize the spells, no one else can use them." His eyes burned and his cheeks flushed. "I ruin everything. All because we're twins, but I don't care. I don't care what I have to destroy to bring Fay back." His voice was rising in pitch, and Ashura sensed that his tantrum earlier hadn't entirely subsided. Fay swung the staff and Ashura caught it. Though Fay hung on with all his might, Ashura was bigger than him and he pulled it out of his grip and set it carefully aside.

Ashura sat beside him on the staircase. Fay hit him again. Ashura caught his wrist and held tightly as Fay let go of his cloak and nearly fell back down the stairs. He pulled the child into his lap and held him again.

"You need to stop doing that." Ashura pinned Fay's arms against his sides. "It's not very nice."

"I'm not very nice," growled Fay. He was still struggling, but it was useless. Ashura was much bigger than him, and much stronger. "I ruin everything."

"No you don't. Think about that village you saved from the avalanche. Do you think that little girl would say that you ruin everything?"

Fay frowned. "She doesn't know about Fay," he said, finally.

"Do you know what they say about twins here in Celes?" Ashura leaned against the wall, still holding Fay in his lap. Fay shook his head. "That they bring double happiness." He smiled at the astonished look on Fay's face. "It's true," he added, as Fay began to open his mouth to protest.

"But what about the books?" asked Fay. "I don't know how to fix them."

"Do you think your the first wizard of Celes to empty out the books in the library, Fay Flourite?" Ashura laughed. "I did the same thing when I was your age, or maybe a little older than you. The books can be replaced."

"I want to help," said Fay. "Let me help you with the books."

"Later," said Ashura. "Right now you need to rest, or you'll wear yourself out. You can't help anybody if you can't take care of yourself." Fay yawned; all of that crying had worn him out. "Remember that, Fay. Even if you forget all of your spells, remember that you can't help anybody if you can't take care of yourself."

Fay would remember that, but not in the way Ashura might have wanted him to. Later, he would find himself completely unable to care for himself and he would blame himself and feel useless. He was more of a burden to his companions than a help. It was only after that, much later, that Fay began to understand what his mentor had meant that day.

Just then, he only nodded and snuggled down into Ashura's cloak. Ashura stood carefully, cradling Fay in his arms. He shifted the sleeping child carefully and lifted the magical staff he had given to Fay. When he reached the top of the staircase he turned not into Fay's chambers, but his own. He placed the child on the bed and pulled the blankets up over him, resting the staff against the wall.

"Sleep well, child," he said quietly. Fay stretched and rolled over, wrapping himself in the warm blankets. Ashura went to leave, but he felt a tug on his cloak. He turned to see that Fay was holding the edge of it in his tiny hands. Ashura smiled and sighed. He settled into the chair beside the bed and leaned back with a book, deciding not to try and fight the stubborn child.



perfectworry: meet me in the door with the desert in the morning I am there (Default)
李杏 | Frances J., a lion-hearted girl

December 2015

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