For the FF Ficathon 05. "Edge's thoughtful side; Rydia's tough girl summoner side." Skipping stones and skirting subjects.
Rippling the Surface
Rydia found him sitting by the lake, skipping rocks against the water's surface- a skill she didn't know Edge possessed. Or, for that matter, she even knew existed. After spending most of her childhood in a valley snuggly fit inside a mountain range and her adolescence in an underground cave under the earth where anything remotely liquid generally tended to be lava, skipping rocks was a past time that never crossed her mind.
She was about to call out when she noticed the ninja prince hadn't realized she was even there yet. Smiling slightly to herself, Rydia wondered just how close she could get.
Close enough, apparently, that she was an arm and a half's reach before she made her presence known.
Edge whirled to his feet, a hand pulled back and claw bared. Rydia stepped back automatically (and with a bit of humor) but Edge just stared at her in surprise. "Er," he said intelligently and then realized he was still in attack mode. He dropped his arm suddenly and put a hand to his face. "Sorry 'bout that." He said. "I was thinking and.... you just caught me off guard is all."
Thinking? Apparently another skill she was surprised Edge knew. "No harm done." Rydia replied.
Bringing his head up, Edge pulled his mask around his neck. "So, er... What's a cute girl like you doing in a beautiful place like this?"
She gave him a small smile. "You need to work on your lines. I think they've actually gotten worse."
"Have they?" He looked thoughtfully at the sky as if he were rehearsing lines in his head. "No, no. I don't think they did."
He looked back at her and she couldn't help giggling back at his grin. If it weren't for his occasionally obnoxious attitude, Edge could possibly be cute.
They stood in silence for a bit before Edge awkwardly offered her the boulder he had sat on. Arranging herself comfortably against the smooth, warmed side, he fell in a graceful pile by her feet. They sat in silence no less awkward then before.
Edge, somewhat shocked at his lack of conversation, tried again. "Er-"
"So what was it you were doing?" Rydia asked suddenly. She was staring intently at a fist-sized stone, rolling it between her fingers.
"Oh. Just... skipping stones. It's really easy."
With a contemplative noise, Rydia swung her arm back and launched the rock into the lake. It hit and sank with a very solid 'plop'.
"You need a certain kind of stone." He told her, digging through the rocks at his feet. Finding one to his liking, he presented it to the summoner. Before he could instruct her any more, she flung that one into the lake and it, too, disappeared just as quickly as the first. Edge sniggered to himself and pulled another, less round stone from the pile. "Not like that, like this."
Rydia watched the stone skip thrice before it sank.
With a mild frown she pulled at Edge's tunic. "Show me." She said.
"Okay, okay. Here. You find the flattest stone you can and you hold it like this." He dropped one into her palm and she copied his hold. "You throw it from the side- you want the flat side to hit the water first. That's what makes it skip." He demonstrated for her again, this one going for five skips.
When Rydia's third try yielded the same result as her previous two, she wrinkled her nose. "Try it again." Edge told her, dropping a couple more rocks on her lap. "It takes some practice."
They spent almost an hour skipping stones, and eventually Rydia acquired the technique. She laughed when she managed to skip her first one and then giggled when she did it twice in a row. Eventually, their excessive rock tossing dwindled their supply and the two scoured the ground around them, fighting over the flatter rocks (all of which Rydia won because Edge couldn't deny her anything).
Rydia began to frown again, however, when it became apparent she couldn't get more then four skips while Edge seemed to send a good number of his almost halfway across the lake. And, to make matters worse, it didn't seem like he was paying attention most the time.
"Hey." She said, nudging him with her foot for good measure.
The jostling threw him off and sent a rock straight to the bottom of the lake. "Huh? What?"
"You seem really out of it."
"Do I?" His attempt at innocent didn't fool anyone.
"Yes, you do."
Edge threw another rock in. "Just thinking."
"About?" If this got anymore like pulling teeth, Rydia was about ready to kick him in the mouth and let him sort it out from there. "Tell me."
"It's just...." he dropped the last of his stones and leaned back on his elbows, "thinking about when we go back to the moon."
Rydia tilted her head back as well, the dual moons pale orbs in the mid afternoon sky. "Are you worried?"
"Not like that." He pushed himself upright again. "I'm just thinking that.... You know Cecil won't let Rosa come."
"And you know that Rosa isn't going to take that from him." Rydia shot back.
"I know, but he's got a good reason. He doesn't know what's going to happen, he doesn't know if we're gonna come back at all. He just wants to know that she's safe. I mean, if something happened to her, him and Kain would just lose it."
Rydia found herself getting irrationally angry at this. "So what? Why do you think Rosa wants to go? It's so she can help us and protect us. So she can make sure we come back at all!"
"But if something happens-"
"This is stupid!" Rydia got to her feet and glared down at Edge. "All you guys are the same, thinking we can't take care of ourselves because we're women! Well if you can't trust us to be strong and live no matter what, then what's the point in even claiming you love us?"
Edge's mouth dropped open, but he couldn't find any words as Rydia stomped angrily away. He watched her leave, watched her turn into a spot in the distance and vanish inside the Big Whale. Turning back to the lake, Edge flicked a rock into the shallow water, plopping wetly into the sand.
Quietly he told the rippling surface, "I just don't want you to get hurt."