Days Like Every Other
Title: Days Like Every Other
Fandom: Tales of Xillia
Disclaimer: No ownership implied, no profit gained. This is a fanwork.
Characters/Pairings: Milla, Ivar, The Four Great Spirits
Summary: A series of moments before everything started to change.
Notes: from the Tales Exchange.
Milla had asked for a capable assistant to take care of trivial tasks. She had expected -- Milla did not actually know what she'd expected, she simply knew she had not gotten it. Instead, she had been brought Ivar, who fit the basic description on paper, at least. He was exceptionally talented and had amazing potential.
He was also really annoying, though Milla was sure she could temper that with time.
Milla did not think she had too many secrets. After all, the Four knew pretty much everything there was to know about her. However, when she sent Ivar to pick out new clothing for her, she asked him to be discreet with her measurements. Had that been in something she'd read? Or was it just that if the entire village knew her size, they might make her excess clothing. Honestly, she didn't need an entire wardrobe - just enough to keep herself covered while tracking down the spyrixes. If she was cold, she had Efreet. If she was warm, she had Sylph and Undine.
There were periods of relative calm, now and then. Milla was unsure how to feel about those times - her mission was to destroy spyrixes, after all. Downtime was... curious. She expected some, but once it would start to stretch on, she had to keep herself occupied. The Four were always handy for that, suggesting things to do or learn about or places to go... Or sometimes Sylph would just start to goad Efreet and the day would get lost in the ensuing chaos.
Still... sometimes Milla started to wonder.
Smiling ever so slightly, Milla lifted the lid from the hand-folded paper box one more time to look at the moth within. She'd requested that if her collection of insect husks was going to grow, that it could only grow via specimens found naturally.
The moth was beautiful - black and white spots - despite one wing having been damaged. The paper box was red and green and purple and brushed with some sort of glittery paint... Even if there'd been an ordinary shiny green beetle inside, Milla would have been pleased.
She closed the lid and tucked the box away just as she heard footsteps outside.
"Come in, Ivar," Milla replied. He'd been full of energy, again, and she'd sent him on as many errands as she could think of just to burn off a bit of it so he didn't drive her crazy. Somehow, he'd finished in record time.
He stepped into the shrine, beaming. He had two bags, one on each arm, and a pile of books clutched to his chest.
"I have successfully finished all of your requests, Lady Milla," Ivar said.
"Very good," Milla replied. "Please put the books on the shelf and put away everything else. Then you can make yourself tea and rest."
"Do you think you'd like some tea today?" Ivar questioned.
"No." Milla shook her head. She actually did want to try it, sometime, but she didn't know it would be a good idea. Perhaps she'd ask the Four what they thought. "Perhaps another day, Ivar."
She wondered if a white lie might be acceptable. Ivar probably wouldn't realize it wasn't the truth, though then again, what she had in mind might just make his ego worse.
Milla couldn't help being fond of him, though.
"How about today?" Ivar questioned. For a moment, Milla wasn't sure if he was asking about tea or if he could go along with her to destroy a spyrix. But knowing Ivar...
"Not today," Milla replied. "I have an important job for you to do here."
Ivar nodded, though he did look just a little disappointed. She smiled at him and after a moment, he smiled back. Hopefully he'd always listen, especially since it was for his own safety. Ivar was skilled, but... well, she didn't want anything to happen to him.
"Well, what do you think?"
Ivar smiled. Milla smiled. The Four... seemed a little skeptical at first.
"That could get drafty," Sylph commented, adding a little chuckle and a little gust. Efreet quickly got between them - he would handle keeping Milla warm and he was not afraid to let Sylph know it.
"Proper ventilation is important," Milla noted. "A human body needs to breathe. I could go into detail, but I really don't think it's necessary."
"Thankfully," Sylph added.
"Anyway, these are sturdy gloves to protect my hands and arms. The boots are supportive for my feet and ankles. And the outfit is attractive and allows for a wide range of motion," Milla explained. "I'm very fond of it. Ivar did a wonderful job with his selections."
Milla was already thinking about work.
The shrine was clean and orderly when Milla returned for the day. She had paused partway back to have Undine clean her hair and let Sylph blow it dry. Clean clothing was still necessary, though.
She could smell Ivar's tea - apparently he hadn't left yet, which was fine. Milla knew he'd taken to reading some of the many books he brought home for her. It was good for him to increase his knowledge.
And sure enough, he was sitting cross-legged, a book open on his lap.
"Ivar, I've returned."
"Welcome back, Lady Milla," Ivar replied. There was a faint blush on his cheeks and he looked from the book to the area around him. Milla frowned, but she was also more concerned about clean clothing. Ivar always had something waiting for her, just in case. She slipped behind a screen to change. While she was unconcerned about Ivar, he had mentioned it would be shocking if a villager happened in. That made enough sense for Milla, and after some discussion, the Four agreed.
"What were you reading, Ivar?" Milla questioned.
"A book," Ivar replied after a moment. "I put it back."
"Do you need anything else from me today?"
"Actually..." She then recounted her day and exactly how she had gotten so many stains on her outfit despite the Four's help. Ivar promised to have it as good as new right away, which pleased Milla. It was one of her favorites and very comfortable.
Only later did she remember Ivar's reluctance to name his reading material when she noticed that Men and Women Between the Sheets had been put back in the wrong place.
Milla left Ivar a brief note with a few requests: one errand to run, the floor to sweep, a few branches to pick up outside. She was off to destroy a new spyrix that had been created. Be right back.
Nothing out of the ordinary, really.
No need to wait up...
Be right back...
Drink Lemonade! Tip Your Waitress!