Final Fantasy - All Series Fan Fiction ❯ Sunset In Alexandria ❯ Chapter 1
I only have three true blue OTPs, and Zidane X Garnet/Dagger is one of them. It makes me sad that out of all the Final Fantasy couples, this one doesn’t get as much attention as it should. And since, for me, there is never enough Zidagger, I thought I’d try my hand at some fluff, because why not? Please read and enjoy.
Disclaimer: I don’t own Zidane and Dagger, or any characters affiliated with Final Fantasy IX. They are the sole property of Square Enix.
Sunset In Alexandria
The sun disappeared below the horizon. Garnet could see the last rays of light still peaking over the mountains from her window as she closed the door to her room behind her. She flung her shoes off her feet, sighing as the heels crashed onto the ground. Without giving it much thought, she opened the window, looking up at the sky as it got darker and darker, painting her room in a dim pink and brown glow.
The fading light made her feel hollow. She looked at her blurry reflection in the window glass. Even in the dim light her dark brown hair and eyes didn’t look as tired as she truly felt. She didn’t want to sleep, but she didn’t want to stay awake and ponder the empty feeling in her heart either. Wishing to get out of her itchy, white gown, she moved back into her room and began to undo the ties on her back.
There was a knock on the door. ‘‘My Queen? May I come in?’’ It was Steiner’s deep, raspy voice.
Garnet tried her hardest not to groan. ‘‘I’m sorry Steiner, I’m not feeling too well. I think I’ll turn in for the night.’’
‘‘Shall I send for the doctor?’’
‘‘No. That will not be necessary. I’m just tired is all. Good night, Steiner.’’
‘‘Good night to you, my lady. If you need anything-”
“I shall send for you. That will be all Steiner.”
She heard his armor clang as he walked away. Once his footsteps had completely faded, she locked the door. After some maneuvering, as she was not used to removing her finest, and most uncomfortable, clothing by herself, she managed to get into her nightgown. She was about to turn a candle on and find a book to read when she felt a draft.
Garnet jumped, and whirled around to see Zidane sitting on her windowsill with a half guilty, half goofy smile on his face. The empty feeling in her heart suddenly eased, her chest filling with warmth, but her mind had other plans. Pouting, Garnet stomped over to him, grabbed his arm and pulled him into the room. ‘‘What are you doing in here? Do you know how late it is? And why did you sneak into my room?’’
Zidane scratched his head. The sun had completely set and in the dark room, his blond hair looked white. Garnet’s anger at him cooled a little as the realization brought back thoughts of someone she would rather not think about.
‘‘I wanted to come by earlier, but stupid Rusty kept getting in my way. He kept saying you were in a meeting and had no time for me today. Can you believe that, Dagger? It’s been a while since I came back and he still wants to get in our way. Maybe it’s time you hire a better captain of the guard eh?’’
Garnet didn’t say anything. Zidane and Steiner’s rivalry had not changed at all since Zidane had come back. If anything, the bickering between Zidane and the captain of the Pluto Knights had only gotten worse, as Steiner insisted that Garnet’s responsibilities always overrode her need to spend time with friends, or with Zidane. Meanwhile, Zidane kept saying that Garnet needed to get out and see people she cared about, and that there was more to her then just being queen. Garnet could see both their points as valid, but she wished the two of them listened to her say, especially in a conversation that was all about her. Still, she thought, at the moment, she sided with Zidane.
When she had been quiet for too long, staring without focus at Zidane’s face, he dropped his teasing expression and looked at her seriously. ‘‘Hey, Dagger, are you okay?’’
‘‘You will get into trouble one day. Beatrix will catch you sneaking into my room and then-’’
Zidane grabbed her hand. By the time he had given her hand a soft squeeze, Garnet already felt as though her heart would pop out of her chest.
‘‘Don’t change the subject. What’s wrong?’’
He trapped her hand between both of his, rubbing his palms against her skin gently. The hole in her chest filled up to the top and Garnet’s irritation at his earlier intrusion faded away completely.
‘‘I was in meetings all day.’’
‘‘That sounds annoying,’’ Zidane said, looking down at their hands.
Although it was dark, Garnet could still see the wondrous look in his eyes. Ever since he had returned, she wanted to hug him more, hold his hand more, and whenever she let him touch her, whether he was holding her hand, or holding her in his arms, he always looked amazed, as though it was the first time such things ever happened. It was strange for Garnet. Zidane had carried her in their past adventures, he even got to touch her behind once, and the simple thought of it still made Garnet blush angrily, so why did he always seem thankful whenever they touched.
‘‘It’s not annoying. As Queen, I am responsible for-’’
‘‘Yeah, yeah, I know. What’s really bothering you?’’ He rubbed his thumbs over her knuckles. His hands were so warm, Garnet almost forgot about his question.
‘‘There was a delegation of nobleman from Treno at the meeting today. During the meeting break, some of the noblewomen cornered me, and asked me a lot of bothersome questions.’’
‘‘Are those stupid nobles harassing you? Listen, I’ve been in Treno loads of times, and let me tell you, those ladies aren’t half as noble as you are, always looking down on any regular person as though they were nothing more then monsters from the mist.’’
Garnet tried not to laugh, but a tiny giggle did escape her. ‘‘No. It’s nothing like that. They just kept asking me questions like when I was going to have an heir, or if there are any eligible bachelors in my mind, or that they knew a few noblemen, or politicians, they could recommend.’’
“Dagger, I’m hurt.” Zidane pouted. ‘‘If you wanted me to propose, why didn’t you say so?’’
He leaned in dramatically for a kiss, and Garnet stepped back, her hand sliding out from between his. Her face on fire, she put her fists on her hips.
‘‘Don’t tease me about things like that. I’m really stressed. Every day I get pressure from my advisors, nobles, even Steiner, Beatrix and Doctor Tot have begun reminding me about the importance of an heir.’’
Zidane looked as though he were a two year old being chastised by his mother. He hung his head. ‘‘Sorry. I was just trying to make you feel better. If it were me, Dagger, I’d marry you in a heart beat.’’
‘‘Although, technically, we already are married.’’
‘‘That wasn’t real! That was just to get past Conde Petie!’’
‘‘But hey,’’ Zidane went on, ‘‘I’d do it all over again if it’s for you.’’
‘‘H-hold on, Zidane.’’ Garnet grabbed his shoulder. He stilled suddenly, his cheerful demeanor being replaced by a look of pain. Shrugging off her hand, he put a little distance between them. ‘‘Yeah, I guess that would be weird huh? I mean, you’re a Queen, and I’m just a thief posing as an actor.’’
The cold feeling that Garnet had forgotten reappeared in her heart. She was about to say something, anything to correct his silly notion that he mattered less to her then her image as queen, when Zidane suddenly turned toward the window. ‘‘Sorry. I guess you’d rather be alone for a while.’’
Garnet darted forward, grabbing his sleeve. ‘‘Don’t be stupid. After all this time, you still think I care about what they think? I’d do it over too, if it was with you.’’
Zidane stiffened. When he didn’t turn around, Garnet focused her eyes on his wrist.
‘‘It’s just that I get tired putting on a face for all these delegates and nobles. At the end of the day, I do want to be with my real friends. But everyone is busy and I don’t get to see you all the time either. I’m just, I just-’’
A hand patted her head. Garnet looked up to see the soft smile on Zidane’s face.
‘‘I’m lonely too,” he grinned, “When I’m not with you, I feel like a bird without wings. I can’t fly.’’
Garnet was sure he could feel the heat coming off her face. She opened her mouth to speak but only broken syllables came out. Trying to compose herself, she snapped at him. ‘‘I know you have to check on the Genomes and the mages in the Black Mage Village, and I know that Steiner can be annoying, but it wouldn’t kill you to send me letters every once in a while. It’s been almost a year and I feel like I have to make appointments to see you.’’
Zidane laughed, seeing straight through her facade. ‘‘That should me my line.’’
Before Garnet could stop him, he pulled her into him. Settling perfectly in his arms, she wrapped her arms around his torso, hiding her red face in his shoulder as he ran his fingers through her long hair. Her heart was beginning to overflow as she felt him breath out a sigh of contentment. Garnet closed her eyes, resting her head on his shoulder.
The feeling of his strong chest against hers made her forget how tired she was. The wonder that Zidane felt whenever they touched was the same feeling she had when they embraced. Every time he held her, it was as though she were transported back to that moment, where, in front of everyone she knew, she had leapt into his arms for the first time. She still felt the rush, the warmth, and the pure joy whenever she felt his heart beating next to hers.
Zidane’s hummed their song. The vibrations from his singing resonated in her chest.
‘‘I’m not ready to be married just yet.’’
He stiffened again. ‘‘O-oh.’’
‘‘I mean, I’d love to, one day,’’ Garnet added quickly, ‘‘but it hasn’t even been a year since you came back, and I’m still new to the idea o-of us.’’
‘‘Yeah.’’ Zidane sighed.
Garnet leaned back so that she could look up into his blue eyes. ‘‘I mean, it’s too soon. I haven’t even gotten the chance to tell you I love you yet, and already we’re talking about marriage.’’
Zidane twitched as though he were about to jump.
Garnet squinted at him. ‘‘What’s gotten into-’’
Her body began trembling as she realized why his face was stretching into an ecstatic grin.
‘‘Say that again.’’ He said.
By this time Garnet was trying to detangle herself from him so that she could run to the other side of the room and hide her face in the wall, but Zidane wasn’t about to let her go, grabbing her shoulders.
‘‘Say it again so I can make sure I’m not dreaming.’’
‘‘You’re way to smart to play dumb Dagger! I know you said you love me.’’
Garnet could feel her cheeks rising into an abnormal smile. All could do was laugh nervously as her brain tried frantically to come up with a diversion or a good excuse so that she could cover up what she had said. As she fumbled about in her mind in order to produce a coherent sentence, Zidane’s smile slowly changed into an expression of sadness, reminding her of the loneliness and fear that he always carried. Then she couldn’t stop the words from coming. Those three words that were so true and had been true since she couldn’t even remember when. ‘‘I love you.’’
Zidane cupped her face in his hands and leaned forward, pressing his lips against hers. Garnet froze, not sure what to do. She’d never been kissed before but Zidane was too excited to care. He kissed her nose, her cheeks, her forehead, he wrapped his arms around her, pressed her close, and half laughed, half sobbed. ‘‘I love you too. Your smile, your voice. I love you. I love you. I love you.’’
Garnet’s vision blurred. She blinked away tears as Zidane began to jump up and down with her in his arms, hoping around the room like a bunny. Eventually his enthusiasm rubbed off on her and she giggled uncontrollably, her laughter only rising when he began chuckling with her. They laughed until their bellies hurt, jumped and smiled together until they were too tired to continue, until Garnet found herself on the ground, resting her head against Zidane’s chest. She kissed their intertwined fingers, and he kissed the top of her head, happy to just be sitting there with her leaning against him.
‘‘Zidane,’’ Garnet said softly, ‘‘I think, this time, I do need some company to help me fall asleep.’’
Zidane squeezed her tight. ‘‘And here I was thinking that you couldn’t make me happier.’’