Being There For Those
by Estirose
c 2011

"I'm worried about them," Hilda said quietly to Minwu. It seemed like such a minor thing, to be worried about the heroes she'd sent out to destroy the Dreadnought. It was something she'd prayed for since the Emperor had come to power and started building the monstrous airships, and now that she'd finally found people who could do it, it worried her even more.

She'd last seen Firion, Maria, and Guy when they were on their way to Salamand, to get Josef's help. The news of his death had caused her to shed a tear, but she couldn't spare more. But Firion and the others were Altair's heroes; they were the ones that brought her people hope that they might yet live free. And so Hilda worried about them.

To be honest, she knew that everybody did, to some extent. They were likeable, heroic figures who had come a long way from when the guard had found them in the forests, half-dead. They'd saved the people of Semitt Falls and fought the Emperor's forces, trying to stop the Dreadnought, and now they were braving unspeakable dangers on behalf of people they barely knew. They were saving the world, and even if it was half because they were hoping to find Leon, Maria's brother, it didn't matter.

At some point, they'd become friends and valued allies whose welfare Hilda worried about. They'd lost so much, and Hilda had been forced to ask them time and again to risk their lives.

"I know," Minwu said. He was tired from ministering to her father, she knew, trying to bring comfort if he couldn't bring healing. But she would have never known it from the graceful way he moved. Had he been royal, and she hadn't been in love with Scott, she'd have married him in a heartbeat. "But you have to have faith. I've taught them the healing arts, and they know how to defend themselves; they'll be fine."

"If we only knew where Gordon was...." But Scott's younger brother, who had always lived in his shadow, had not had the courage at the moment that Scott had had. Hilda and Scott had felt that he had the potential, and maybe with Scott's death, Gordon would find it. She hoped so.

But in the meantime, she had to put her faith in Firion and his group. In innocent Guy and grieving Maria, in reluctant Firion. They would do whatever she asked them without question, only stopping to make sure they knew what they were getting into.

"They're strong, my lady. I have faith."

"You worry, too," Hilda contended, searching Minwu's face... the part of it she could see, anyway.

He laughed, and it was a welcome sound. "True. But there's nothing I can do but hope and wait."

Minwu would never leave her father's side unless she commanded him to, and she knew she could never do that. It was up to her to be there for the people who were there for her. It was time for her to do something. "I'm going to go meet them, outside Kashuan Keep."

He nodded. "You do what you must." He would never forbid her. Advise, yes, tell her if he thought it was a bad idea, yes. Minwu was honest. But he would never stop her.

She walked out of the room, ordering the guard to saddle up her chocobo. This time, she would do something.

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