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Exactly the Same (ficlet, M/E, post TLO)

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A ficlet (which then morphed into being more than a ficlet) that tragically will never ever ever be canon.

(or even fanon. Just saying. My fanon for this game will be very different from canon, but it will, unforgivably, not include this scene for reasons of plot necessity.)

Nonetheless, it begged, beseeched, cried on its knees to be written.

 

 

This fic, needless to say, entirely ignores TDP canon. Nonetheless, because reading it after having played the game might be disorienting, I will explain what exactly is going on, setting-wise.

Ed and Mel get to the Arishta Isles, leaving immediately post TLO, together. (i.e. Mel does not run off). When they get there, Mel enrolls in the school with minimum nudging and Edward probably gets goaded into joining as well, but in addition to that he plays a complex political game to get supporters for his bid for power back home (I was so mad that part was Deus-ex-machina'd out of the game, I was so excited for political machinations). They stay in Veldarah for quite some time, until eventually being, as usual, triggered off on adventure.

 

Onwards to story.

 

---

 

When they got to the Arishta isles-- which was a whole adventure in itself, involving, among other things, mermaids and gigantic purple sea elephants-- they spent most of the first month just settling in and trying to get their bearings in a strange, unfamiliar place and a strange, unfamiliar culture.

 

Mel was mostly busy trying to get the hang of the Academy's schedule, not to mention navigating the complex Academy social scene-- No, really, not to mention it. She was committed to ignoring it as steadfastly as possible, in the hopes that it would then go away.

 

Nonetheless, her days were so full that she was a bit shocked that Edward, who had to deal with political alliances and meetings with the Empress on top of everything else, had managed to find the time to track down a chapel.

 

On second thought... No really, she shouldn't have been surprised.

 

"No, Edward," she said, when she found him, for the millionth time (fourteenth, actually, but who's counting? Definitely not her. She didn't find this latest stunt of his cute in the slightest. Not at all. No. He should get over himself, he of the cute easily ruffled hair. Argh). "I'm not marrying you!"

 

"Why not?" He said. Sulked. Pouted. Stared up at her with-- dammit, not the puppy eyes, she was in a really bad angle to be receiving the puppy eyes, they look huge and hurt and innocent (DAMMIT. Edward was the furthest possible thing from thing from innocent the universe could possibly think up. He knew full well he was manipulating her. He was doing it shamelessly, the

conniving little naive open-minded overly eager way too enthusiastic-- stupid. boy. AGH. Mel was going crazy. Clinically. She knew it.)

 

She closed her eyes, to cut off the puppy eyes (if she looked at them for a second longer, her heart would melt. She knew this. Worse, Edward knew this. It was a problem). She refused to answer.

 

"Why not?" He pressed. "You already did, once!"

 

"That," she said, "was then. This is now."

 

"What changed?" He protested, standing up. "I'm still the same, you're still the same, we still love--"

 

She slammed her hand over his mouth just to stop him from ever finishing that highly embarrassing sentence.

 

"Did you forget the part where our wedding ceremony never actually happened?" She asked. "We've never been married, Edward, and that's the way it's supposed to be. We're completely not suited for each other."

 

"C-comple-" He spluttered. "What? Why? And don't give me your 'you're a noble, I'm a commoner' speech again, Mel, you know full well it's ridiculous."

 

"It happens to be true!"

 

"It's completely irrelevant! But look, if you actually care this much... Mordred Darkthrop helped build Hapsburg, didn't he? As far as the universe is concerned that probably makes him a noble, too. So now you have absolutely no excuses, let's go get married, c'mon."

 

He grabbed her by the wrist.

 

She pulled away. "And what about the part where you married someone else? Did you forget that?"

 

"Lydia annulled our marriage ages ago, Mel!"

 

"That's not the point!"

 

"None of this is the point, Mel! I don't get why you're being so ridiculous!"

 

"Because I don't want to get married to you, Edward! Why is this so hard for you to get into your thick skull!? Is it absolutely impossible for you to believe that there's a single girl out there in the world who might not want to swoon over winning charms?"

 

"...You think I have winning charms?" Edward said, incredulously.

 

Mel bit back a scream.

 

She closed her eyes. She breathed deeply.

 

"I just don't understand why you're so eager for us to get married, Edward. What's wrong with what we have now? Why can't we just be friends? It's worked so far. Why should we mess with it, why should we mess it up?"

 

"Ah." He said.

 

"What 'ah'?"

 

"Ah, I get it." He said, a look of absolute smugness plastered across his face.

 

"Get what? Stop looking at me like that!"

 

"Mel, Mel, Mel," he said, and hugged her. "I promise you, nothing is going to change when we get married. I'm not going to stop being friends with you. I promise, everything will be exactly the same. Trust me."

 

"...If everything's going to be exactly the same, why even bother?" She said, muffled against his chest.

 

He laughed.

 

---

 

He lied.

 

The wedding in Veldarah was frankly weird-- it involved passing roses around in a circle, and then skipping in tandem, but okay, totally different continent, new culture, whatever.

 

The problem was afterwards.

 

The problem was when they left the chapel and Edward, grinning ear to ear like a gigantic freak, stopped literally everyone in the street and said: "Do you see this girl? Her name's Mel. And she's my wife! We're married!"

 

(To which most of the townspeople responded with "congratulations" or some such thing, although one or two of them backed away slowly (a far more sane reaction, in Mel's opinion))

 

The problem was when she grabbed him by the sleeve and said, sharply, "Edward." And he turned around and--

 

and--

 

kissed her full on the lips right in the middle of the street.

 

She was pretty sure she heard cheering, but it was hard to tell because she felt like she was about to pass out from pure shock.

 

She pulled away as forcefully as she could (the minute or two where she... definitely did not push him away... could be chalked up to madness)

 

Her face was flaming. She wanted to crawl into a hole and never be seen again.

 

"Are you okay?" Edward asked, suddenly concerned. Arm around her waist.

 

"No," she snapped, trying to pull away.

 

He felt her forehead.

 

"You seem flushed."

 

"That's because I'm humiliated," she hissed back.

 

"...What? Why?" He asked.

 

"You- You don't- You didn't need to announce it to everyone!" She said.

 

He glanced around, and finally seemed to notice the slightly amused crowd that had gathered.

 

"Alright," he said. "I'm sorry, I got carried away."

 

He kissed her on the forehead.

 

"But Mel," he whispered. "We're finally married! For real! You're not Lydia! I'm not Belf's older brother! It's amazing!"

 

"Yeah, yeah," she said, grumpily, but allowed herself to soften against him. "...Wait. Belf's what?"

 

---

 

"And this is my wife, Mel!" Edward announced. For around the fiftieth time that evening.

 

For around the fiftieth time that evening, Mel flushed and looked away.

 

Edward had taken real delight in introducing her like that-- well, pretty much everywhere.

 

Still, tonight, with some three hundred nobles gathered at some gala dinner, there was a bit too much introducing going on for Mel's taste.

 

She knew she had to bear with it, for Edward's sake. She was really proud of him, trying to get his throne back (the irony of this vis-a-vis her personal thing against nobles was waved away as this being different, because this was Edward, taking responsibility, not just some random rich fathead pursuing power). She knew he needed support. Nonetheless...

 

"Do you have to phrase it like that?" she asked him.

 

"What do you mean?" He said, too innocently.

 

"Calling me your... wife." she said. Coughed at the last word.

 

"It's true, isn't it?"

 

"I don't go around to everyone calling you my husband!" She protested.

 

"Well, why don't you?" He asked.

 

"It's too embarrassing," she muttered, and wriggled her toes, and wished this evening was over.

 

---

 

But no. No, the horrors didn't end there.

 

The news reached them that Stella had been kidnapped. And so they left, together with Yvette (who had delivered the news) and Te'ijal and Galahad, who had finally come on a long-promised visit from Sedona.

 

Te'ijal was busy getting Galahad to pamper her-- it was clear she had gotten used to this as her sole source of comfort over the horrible tragedy of being turned into a human.

 

Yvette had turned into a bird and flown up to nest in a tree/keep guard.

 

So it was Mel and Edward left to make camp, and it was Mel who discovered that Edward had packed only one tent.

 

...and only one extra-large sleeping bag.

 

She lifted it up and stared at him accusingly.

 

He shrugged.

 

She stared at him accusingly.

 

He whistled innocently.

 

She groaned.

 

She should never have agreed to marry him.

 

And he was so getting kicked out of the tent tonight.

 

 

---

 

(a/n: I have this thing, where I'm writing a story. As I start out it happens in present tense, since i'm writing present-tense the images playing my mind... then as the story progresses I shift back into my comfortable past tense. Then I have to go back and change everything. Agh.)

 

(This somewhat changed from what I had in mind but whatever. The point was, having Mel and Edward adventuring together while married would be kickass. Even if I write like crud and totally don't express sufficient awesome. Look, hey, if I get another plotbunny of their married adventuring life I am so writing it.)

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Just look at this. :( Mel and Edward are just so good for each other. Seriously, what's with Stella? She's alright on her own, but shoving her with Edward because supposedly 'Edward and Mel will be too predictable' is just silly.

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Sometimes things are predictable for a reason

 

i.e. because THEY MAKE SENSE.

 

it's nice to be unpredictable if unpredictable = not cliched...

not so much if unpredictable = completely out of left field and makes no sense whatsoever.

 

 

aka: predictability is not evil! cliche is, but only because cliche = "badly executed predictability". which is to say, if you execute it properly (and ed/mel were doing a perfectly fine job of it and heck, even in their two minute interactions in 3-4 had more chemistry than ed/stella all game long... well, if you ignore that awful beginning part which made absolutely no sense for either of them and therefore yes I am ignoring it...)

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Stella and Edward had chemistry in the first and second game. Don't discount them as a couple. >=( However, Edward turned into a selfish brat in 3-3 and 3-4. And kind of stupid. Basically Stella became awesome in TDP and Edward descended to the level of Dameon in AV1 -- yes, that bad. <.

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ah... so i'll disagree.

They had chemistry in 3-1 and 3-2... (I was willing to ship them, even though my OTP was and is Ed/Mel)

 

and Edward was kind of a brat in certain parts of 3-4 (hey ho, beginning-- then again, a lot of characters were ooc this game. galahad?!)... (3-3 you'd have to specify what incidents you're referring to. i don;t remember him being specifically bratty, unless you count his and mel's whole "let's not discuss the part where the wedding never happened" thing, which could also apply if you had the stella beginning although... slightly less so... since he wasn't travelign with her the entire time)

 

But Stella was not awesome, at all, in 3-4. She had awesome bits in the other games. In this one? Mary sue allllll the way D=

(Whereas I actually thought Edward having magic in his sword was kinda awesome. Among the things that should've happened in this game? He and Mel bantering about that. I seem to recall her making fun of him (not) being a swordsinger at the very beginning, no?)

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Oh gosh. This is an absolute GEM. I'm a huge Ed/Mel shipper and am undoubtedly disappointed in the Amanda Revelation, and confused by the start of TDP...and may I say I love your version of TDP Ed/Mel heaps more (as much as I do love TDP the game).

 

You write so well, and I can see this happening in the canon, really, if it chooses to be that way. Mel is written perfectly in character, the disgruntledness, the quiet and genuine affection for Ed, and Ed is just exuberant with joy with the marriage (SUCH A CUTE SCENE BY THE WAY).

 

Please please pleaseeee continue soon. Would love to read more of this uberawesome story.

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Stella was just so cute in TDP. <3 With the whole kitten thing, and what she said after she saw Petir and Katie go off to the castle, and practically everything else. She became totally super-awesome in this game and you can't persuade me any differently. <3

 

I thought Edward was just annoying in TDP. So he's all "I'm too manly for everything", and he keeps trying to leave Mel despite his promise, and even at the end he was super reluctant to become king. I just hated him here. D:

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TONIC!!! Just what I need to get my bleeding shipping heart back together again!

 

Mel x Edward is my first non-canon coupling, simply because I have rarely felt this strongly for a fiction coupling before (as can be seen on my FanFiction.Net profile, it ranks #2 after Squall/Rinoa of FF8 ). I love their interaction in all the OoM games, the camaraderie, the closeness, the general chemistry between the two. They just do something for me that the other possible couplings in the games don't do (with the exception of T/G, and we all know why that one is so intoxicating :evil: ).

 

On the other hand, it could be argued that Edward, being only 21 and a *ahem* virgin to the world, is actually only looking for someone to love. That an affectionate boy trapped in a cold conniving political arena since birth is just trying to latch on to the nearest warm thing in his world (gods, I make him sound like a leech). In LoT to early parts of TDP, that was Mel [no matter how odd it was that Mel ran away from him for a year, he still didn't forget her, still went back to Harakauna for her, despite the failure he encountered in the courts of Thais, or the fact that he essentially "sold" her to the Eastern Empire, if you want to look at it that way]. But after Mel was kidnapped and he travelled for an extended time with Stella, he transferred it to Stella.

 

Before amaranth confirmed that Edward x Stella was canon, I was already feeling very uncomfortable with the time Edward was spending with Stella, and while everything going well for Stella does seem kinda Mary Sue, I was glad for her to come into her own in a way, since she was kinda portrayed as helpless in the previous games, to the point of extreme nausea. Yet even though I'm really happy for Stella, I still really don't see where on Aia, other than the reason above, can Edward really, truly, and that quickly transfer his affection from Mel to Stella. It's just unreal, unnatural, and WEIRD. There was no fire, no passion, not even a single occasion that actually mark their relationship. And for Mel to fall for a guy who only appeared in the epilogue is plain WEIRDER. But you know, maybe we'll find the reason for it in AV4. And maybe, just maybe, amaranth will have changed her mind by then ;)

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...See, as far as I'm concerned Edward may well have been looking for someone "to love". But once you actually find that someone, and you stick with her for three games, and you form a really deep bond... Then you're no longer in the same stage of life that you were beforehand, where you're just looking for someone to love. You've actually changed and grown as a person (I KNOW IT HAPPENS SOMETIMES THAT THING WHERE PEOPLE MATURE).

 

Now. It happens to be that the wedding breakup in TLO could have been a breaking point for them. I would have been willing to buy that (see: my anxious despair throughout the game that they be okay as a couple). However, what I got from the ending of TLO was that that clearly was not the case. Edward takes it very much for granted that Mel is coming with him, and Mel does not challenge that assumption. That's why I assumed that some point off-screen during the game they at least semi-resolved the "You married another woman" problem. Even if they didn't, though, they clearly are still together. Note also that Edward does not have Stella also come along-- Stella is happily recovering from her various traumas, finding peace in tending animals.

 

But fine. I would have even accepted it, if a breaking point had been properly introduced and developed in this game. If some actual emotional dealing with this had happened. But no such thing occurred...

 

 

instead, out of the blue, Edward gets stuck with Stella? wait, whaaaat?

And I agree that they had absolutely not a single spark between them the entire game. No chemistry. Heck, at the end, when giving presents? Mel/Ed still had significantly cuter chemistry. They were all like "cutesy jokesy flirting I'm so happy we're back together". Stella/Edward was all "oh look I'm so pretty why yes indeed you are very pretty" ...seriously? They're relationship is based on just that?

 

Oh, unless you want to say that it's also Stella'a [d]pure heart[/d] mary-sueishness, and therefore OF COURSE edward falls in love with her sweet wonderful insightful flawless personality...

to which i respond that there's some canon evidence that Edward doesn't have so much patience with cotton-candy-sweet personalities. aka the eyeroll. My love meter for Edward (which had dropped a bit) was restored by that eyeroll. ESPECIALLY BECAUSE I WAS ROLLING MY EYES AT THE EXACT SAME TIME. So me and eddykins are still thinking alike, which is nice.

 

 

and back to stella's mary sue thing. see, stella is a gal whose had a lot of bad things happen to her.

 

she's had her wings ripped off

she's failed her job as a guardian miserably

she's been killed

and her crush is in love with her best friend.

 

now. what i appreciated about stella was that she managed to cope with these things. my appreciation for her strength went kinda sour when:

 

1. she got her wings back

2. no one seems to care in the slightest that she screwed up

3. she gets magically revived

4. she steals her best friend's boyfriend AND NO ONE SEEMS TO THINK THIS IS A PROBLEM

 

see, I can deal with 3 (grudgingly, since having someone die was so darn different). and I was fully willing and happy to accept 2 as a consolation prize for her missing out on 4. But for her to get absolutely everything ever end up perfectly for her with no consequences whatsoever? lfkjgljgdjlgdljkdjklgdgljk.

 

DGGDHFGHFdfh.

 

 

 

(Honestly, I think OoM had a much better ending by GoN. the next two games felt like they were stretching the story without actually having what to stretch it with. I put up with TLO on the assumption it was leading up to something in TDP-- but TDP never delivered on that promise, instead throwing, among other things, the entire "orbs of magic" premise itself out the window (so mel's prophecy was fulfilled through a magic staff, huh? THEN WHY THE HECK WERE THE ORBS IMPORTANT IN THE FIRST PLACE?!?), as well as characterization, character development, relationship development... (any growth edward experienced during the first three games was undercut by his behavior this game. as for T/G-- I was extremely upset by some of their dialogue. I agree, Te'ijal had some comeuppance coming to her, but in TLO it seemed to be established that Galahad was being his usual noble self and actually forgiving her sufficiently to be quite kind and considerate. And then we have him spouting really disturbing lines about how she has to obey him no matter what, and Te'ijal just goes along with this... Fun, playful, quirky Te'ijal is basically nonexistent... kfjdfjgdjldgk)

 

agh i could go on and on. basically, the gameplay in TDP was quite fun. The story-- I am striking from my memory. I am removing it from canon. I am pretending it never happened.)

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Don't diss da Stella. >=( I actually thought the MelxEdward gift interactions were ridiculous. They didn't seem flirty, they made Edward seem pathetic and Mel totally awesome "of course I like it silly". That line annoyed me SO MUCH. She was so condescending. Just because you're a super-totally-powerful-beat-Lydia-awesomely-despite-the-fact-that-she-trained-for-years-and-you're-totally-new-at-this-Mary-SUE does not mean that you get to be with Edward. And I don't care that she was using the Staff of Destiny, it's not that cool. Stella and Edward were equals; although they were different, they had enough in common and they had traveled together for a good long time. I'm thinking that the events in this game took about a year, and in that time Stella and Edward bonded. They were both all about helping people, although Edward pretended to be all super-manly-awesome. And then they loved each other. <3

 

Besides, did anyone else notice that Mel and Edward never smiled during their gift interactions, but Stella and Edward were smiling the whole time for every gift except the snail? <3

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...where did you get that they took a year? The entire jewel thief arc, starting from when mel gets kidnapped all the way until Galahad/te'ijal join the party, is said to have taken "a morning". The entire demon plains arc takes place at the same time, plus a little bit at the end where galahad join.

...for the rest of the game to have then taken a /year/ seems insane.

 

 

----

 

 

eh. whatever. truth of the matter is, i'm not hugely interested in a shipping war. There's no way either side is going to convince the other, seeing as we pretty clearly see things very differently (i.e. we disagree on which female lead is the bigger mary sue). Also, I kind of want to live in a blissful bubble in which the events of TDP never happened. So.

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Yeah. Shipper wars are no fun. XD But just as an explanation I got my year from the fact that it took a month for the party to return to Thais. Considering how much boating and dragon-ing and everything else the party does, twelve months seems pretty close to correct relatively speaking. :D

 

Oh, and I like the story anyways. XD

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Well, Thais was supposedly a much more complicated venture, involving those annoying cliffs.

 

xD thanks. (I am actually considering writing an Ed/Stella to alleviate my discomfort over the way the game handled it... ergk. I do still vastly prefer Stella---> Ed, though. So it probably won;t happen)

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I have no Idea at all why they would even try to make Stella have to marrie Edward to bring him back to life when in the next game they show Mel getting married to Edward (even though its Lydia it was meant to be Mel) and that Stella is somehow alive.

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