The Courting of Spartos
Summary: “In retrospect, it was like trying to tame a particularly skittish animal.” Morgiana and Spartos over a period of seventy eight days.
Three young women sat (or sprawled) in various positions on the coverlet of a soft, large bed inside a room in Sindria, facing each other and talking to each other quietly, sometimes laughing and other times…
“And then he was like, ‘Sorry, it’s too nerve-wracking to be with you’,” sighed Yamuraiha, hugging her knees despondently. “I don’t get it! What’s so nerve-wracking about being with me?!”
“Like I said,” Pisti groaned despairingly, smacking a palm to her face, “Just get together with someone who can actually use magic.”
“He was a magician, a magician!” Yamuraiha wailed, tears streaming comically down her face.
“Uh…” Pisti found herself at a loss for words. Morgiana reached out and patted the sniffling blue magician comfortingly on the back, while the blonde girl rushed to find a different topic. “H-how about you, Morgiana-chan? Do you like anyone?”
Morgiana’s cheeks puffed out and she glanced to the side in slight embarrassment. Yamuraiha’s head jerked up, tears forgotten in favor of the much more interesting information being passed around.
“You do! Who is it?” she questioned, an eager light in her eyes.
“A-ah… Spartos-san is very handsome, and very kind,” the crimson-haired girl admitted, her face reddening. There was a shocked silence for a second as the two other females reeled back in utter surprise, then turned to look at each other with wide, excited eyes.
Both of them remembered the numerous times Spartos had been rejected, ignored, or in most cases simply… not quite noticed. They turned back to the Fanalis with gleaming eyes, and soon Morgiana was barraged with an onslaught of encouragements and supportive comments.
Within the night, she had been convinced to give it a try.
Unfortunately, Morgiana had absolutely no idea what she was supposed to do to make Spartos like her back. She mulled over what to do for almost an hour, still lying in her bed with her face in the pillow.
She reasoned that the first step had to be observation: she could learn from the behavior of other people in love, as well as see what Spartos did normally during the day.
From what Morgiana could see, the most common trends were to follow people around, give them flowers, talk to them, and sit with them as much as possible. The most opportune time she could do most of these things were at 8 o’clock in the evening, where Spartos often sat alone on a bench in the south side of the palace. However, following him didn’t require a stationary place to be in.
Thus, for the next few days, she followed Spartos everywhere he went, causing untold amounts of giggling and gossiping amongst the female population of the castle, and also making the hapless spearman obsessively anxious and paranoid.
At this point in time, Morgiana had realized that following Spartos around was causing nothing more than trouble, as the poor man was starting to actively avoid her, and taking evasive measures whenever he noticed her coming.
Fortunately – or unfortunately depending on how you look at it – Morgiana’s best traits were her loyalty, and sheer determination. She didn’t give up.
1. Following [X] FAILED
2. Talk [X] FAILED
3. Flowers [ ]
4. Sit [ ]
By then, Spartos looked like he wanted to run the moment he heard her voice, so the option of ‘talking’ was automatically out. The only options left were getting him flowers, and sitting with him. There was no reason why she couldn’t do both at the same time, but Morgiana had no idea in the least where she could get flowers, so she went to find Yamuraiha and Pisti for advice.
For some reason, they both kept on giggling when she mentioned her plans for that day, and both spent an inordinately long time in selecting a small white flower for her to give to Spartos.
(“It has to be perfect!” Yamuraiha insisted hotly.)
Morgiana didn’t quite see why.
In the end, while they were arguing over which flower she should take with her, she took one by herself and went to find Spartos.
At exactly 8:05 in the evening, Morgiana walked up to the bench in the garden where Spartos sat every day with a slightly lopsided white flower in her hands. She walked up and sat down, putting the flower between them with slow, careful movements. Spartos glanced around desperately for someone to save him, finding no one at all, before making a hasty excuse and fleeing the area, leaving both Morgiana and the flower behind.
Morgiana sagged a little in disappointment.
Meanwhile, watching from a nearby balcony, Pisti shrieked angrily, “You don’t just walk away when a girl gives you a flower! That Spartos- “
Yamuraiha nodded vehemently in agreement. “We should tell him that, so he doesn’t do it again.”
The ill-fated spearman ended up near traumatized after encountering the two women that night, having been assaulted with threats to his dignity and manhood if he didn’t go back every evening and stay there until Morgiana left.
Morgiana was nothing if not persistent.
At exactly 8:05 in the evening, the red-haired girl walked up to the bench in the garden where Spartos sat every day with a slightly lopsided white flower in her hands. She walked up and sat down, putting the flower between them with slow, careful movements.
Spartos nearly fell off the edge of the bench as he got as far from her as he possibly could while he was still sitting on the bench.
They sat in awkward silence for half an hour, neither of them able to speak. Morgiana couldn’t think of anything to say, while Spartos was just too nervous to speak up.
Finally, Morgiana got up, bowed silently and left.
Up in the balcony, Sinbad stared at Spartos, who looked utterly petrified, and then turned to look at Yamuraiha.
“What did I just watch?”
In retrospect, Morgiana mused thoughtfully; it was like trying to tame a particularly skittish animal.
The Fanalis kept coming every day with a flower in her hand, arriving at exactly 8:05 in the evening. By this time, Spartos wasn’t scooting quite as far away from her, and had resumed his normal activities of meditation and praying while she sat on the other end of the bench.
Up in the balcony, Masrur and Ja’far had joined the little audience of viewers that watched the progression of the two’s unorthodox relationship.
Morgiana sat and put down the customary flower. Spartos, already in the midst of a prayer, didn’t move away.
Her cheeks puffed out as she turned away to hide her red face.
Up in the balcony, Hinahoho raised an eyebrow.
“Now if that isn’t cute I don’t know what is.”
Drakon snorted in amusement.
Day after day, Morgiana had been scooting gradually closer, while Spartos continued to stay still. At this point, she was barely a handbreadth away, and they sat in a companionable silence for the entire half hour she was there, stealing the occasional glance at one another when they thought the other wasn’t looking.
Sharrkan groaned impatiently.
“It’s been almost two months! When are they going to finish this?!”
Simultaneously, all the others said, “Shhhh!”
On the sixty-eighth day, Morgiana sat close enough to Spartos she was almost pressed against him. He didn’t move away or even stiffen.
There was a faint dusting of pink across his cheeks. Her face was tinted crimson, and there was a tiny smile tugging at her lips.
“Aww, they’re blushing!” exclaimed Yamuraiha. Sinbad turned to Sharrkan with a bright grin on his face.
“Pay up, you said he wouldn’t let her touch him.” The white-haired swordsman groaned.
Morgiana came down with a fever, and was stuck in bed sleeping. She missed the unofficial 8:05 meeting time. Spartos, sitting alone on the suddenly rather empty seeming bench, was left fidgeting uncomfortably and occasionally looking around like he expected a red-haired girl to come walking down the cobblestone path.
After three days of strict bed rest, Morgiana came back down the path at exactly 8:05, with a perfect white flower clutched in her hand. Before she could put it on the bench, Spartos caught her hand and gently took the flower.
Carefully, he brushed her hair behind her ear and tucked the flower there. She stared at him with her eyes wide in surprise, her cheeks red.
“I missed you.” Spartos muttered quietly, his ears and the back of his neck reddening the longer she looked at him. Up in the balcony, there was a near silent eruption of cheers.
“…I missed you too.”