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Title: Hoped
Fandom: Tales of the Abyss
Disclaimer: No ownership implied, no profit gained. This is a fanwork.
Characters/Pairings: Jade, Natalia, (Cast)
Rating: AA
Summary: Jade didn't ask, Natalia didn't answer.
Notes: post-epilogue, for luxken27's Summer Mini Challenge Table #1 - 'hope'

Natalia hung back a bit as they walked through town to the inn. Jade wasn't surprised - while they were all excited to see Luke, Jade hadn't missed the other emotions that had mixed into Natalia's joy. And now it seemed like she wanted to say something but kept swallowing it whenever he glanced over at her or anyone else spoke. What was there really to say, anyway? The truth was right in front of them - Luke and Tear with their hands clasped so tightly together that Jade was fairly sure they'd both walk into the inn's doorframe before letting go of each other.

She'd never said anything about Asch over the last couple of years. Not specifically, at least. Not to Jade. Not that Jade thought himself the princess' confidant by any means. But they'd come to a sort of understanding... Perhaps that was why she was hanging back beside him. Or perhaps it was just because they'd had a few good laughs together when her parents had started suggesting other suitors. Peony's name had bounced around more than once, and oh, they'd all found that quite amusing -- well, the king wasn't quite in on the joke, but Natalia had been amused.

Which reminded Jade that he didn't know if the Natalia beside him had been told about the rappig who had been named Natalia in her honor. It wasn't that Peony disliked her, after all. Jade knew her, Tear, and Anise all to be frequent guests in Grand Chokmah.

"Hey, Luke, are you buying dinner?" Anise questioned from the front of the group. Meiu was snuggled in her arms and Guy grabbed for the inn's door.

"I don't have any money," Luke replied back. Something else he started to say was covered by Tear's laughter. Jade wanted to comment that some things never changed.

He missed Luke and Tear navigating inside to look over to Natalia. Still, she couldn't find the words and gave her head a little shake.

"I'm okay, thank you," she managed as Jade grabbed the door from Guy to hold as Natalia stepped inside.

He wanted to tell her that hope wasn't the worst thing to hold onto-- instead he decided to just tell her about the rappig.


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Disclaimer: I don't own it, I'm just playing with it. All titles and characters belong to their respective creators and companies.