Fields of Duscur
One month later, Dedue and Mercedes were married at Garreg Mach in the cathedral with all their friends—their found family—in attendance. Mercedes’s adoptive father hadn’t been invited. They held a modest reception afterwards, which included dancing and traditional wedding foods from Duscur. Dedue’s first dance with Mercedes felt like something out of a dream. Being able to call her wife was a gift beyond reckoning.
It was good to see their friends, with a bit of the old Academy camaraderie creeping back into their interactions. Dimitri caught up with the professor—now Archbishop—and Sylvain got drunk and said something to Ingrid that made her tow him out of the hall by his ear. Ashe and Annette showed off their infant son, with Gustave and his wife acting the proud grandparents. Even Felix attended, accompanied by Dorothea. Warmth spread through Dedue. So, this was what it felt like to belong.
That night, Dedue and Mercedes lay in bed, his hand on her belly. She wasn’t showing yet, nor was the baby large enough to make its movements known, but he could feel its presence just the same. His family. His future.
When they returned to Fhirdiad, Dimitri surprised them with a wedding gift of funding for their school. Mercedes immediately purchased a building she’d had her eye on—she’d already begun filing for the proper permits—and renovations began. They moved out of the castle to a house in the Duscur district, where Mercedes soon ingratiated herself to the inhabitants. She spent the rest of her pregnancy working with the community to put together a book of Duscur history and an outline of two more books, one on culture and one on folklore.
Their daughter was born in late autumn under a full moon on an unseasonably warm night. Dedue and Mercedes held each other and their baby, and when mother and child slept, Dedue thanked all the gods and goddesses he could think of for his wonderful little family.
When spring finally came, Dedue took his wife and daughter to Duscur, to see the fields in bloom. Dedue stood on a knoll with the baby in his arms as Mercedes moved among the blossoms. The sounds of bees flitting from flower to flower filled the air. A laugh escaped Mercedes as she spun around, skirts swirling, sending colorful petals aloft against the blue dome of the sky. Her grin was more lovely than any flower.
“I love Duscur,” she called. “It’s so beautiful!”
Dedue smiled and stroked his daughter’s plump, bronze cheek with his finger. The words Mercedes had said during their first true conversation echoed in his mind. His people might have been displaced, but Duscur remained. He held the next generation in his arms. There was hope in his life, hope for his culture, hope for this land. All because of Mercedes and her love.
Dedue, and Duscur, lived on.
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