It had been three years since she met her brother's boyfriend, and Sothis found herself busy with her first year of college while juggling her part time job as an intern.
Her father's benefactor sure enjoyed working her to the bone and making sure she picked up certain skills. Yet even on those busy days she found all sorts of happiness in different forms and living her life to the fullest.
But right now was perhaps the most joyous moment of her life as Sothis grinned in the crowd of hopeful bride and grooms, waiting as Byleth held a small bouquet of flowers made by their mother.
Today, her big brother had gotten married to the boyfriend he was in love with for years. No it would be more accurate to say husband now as Dimitri was holding onto a smaller bouquet of violets.
"Three, two, one! Throw it Byleth!" Annette yelled out as Byleth flung the bouquet with his back turned and Sothis quickly moved away from the frantic scramble for the flowers. Oh boy.
A yelp could be heard as the flowers landed right on to another girl's head, as she nearly dropped her champagne. "Yoooooo! Edelgard's the next lucky bride then," Claude grinned to the side as Edelgard plucked the flowers off her head and sighed. "Really…"
Sothis giggled as soon Dimitri waved his bouquet to catch everyone's attention.
"Then I'm going next!"
Dimitri had turned his back around to throw as Sylvain grinned and spoke up, "Then! Three! Two! One!"
It was then Dimitri attempted to toss but instead turned around, walking over to Ashe to hand it to him.
"Huh?" Ashe blinked seeing the bouquet of violets and raised an eyebrow. "Dimitri that's not how that works." What he didn't notice though was Claude moving with the camera and giving a grin.
Dimitri couldn't help but grin as he stepped away slowly.
"No I think I know how it works."
It was then Dedue had walked up to Ashe and knelt down in front of the other man, a golden ring in hand. Ashe stared dumbfounded as he looked at Dedue and then at the bouquet, before slowly the realization hit him.
"... Dedue…?" Ashe's voice almost cracked before tears formed in his eyes and he nodded once, loud cheering erupting.
Really, Sothis couldn't help but giggle at the joyful sight. It was like Dimitri to want to spread happiness all around, but she couldn't help her sly grin seeing Dimitri move to hold his new found husband next to him.
"Already lovey dovey?" Sothis giggled next to her brother who looked down right comfortable cuddled against Dimitri. While she would tease, Dimitri seemed to be radiating joy and she didn't want to trample on that.
Byleth smiled as Dimitri looked to his husband and without missing a single beat, kissed each other on the lips.
"Hey hey! The married couple's already kissing each other up!" Claude grinned as he moved the camera to face the newly married couple, as Dimitri looked to Byleth and he picked him up in a bridal carry.
Sothis almost squealed but especially as she could even see her normally stoic brother's face become a marvelous red.
Really he really deserved to be happy, Sothis smiled to herself, before she slowly stepped away from the wedding and slipping out of the wedding reception.
A quick walk around the park next door would do her good. Sothis let her mind wander off as the view was nice this afternoon, until she saw a person in the distance in front of a canvas and a brush in hand.
Slowly Sothis made her way over as her eyes trailed over the person in question and noticed white flowers tucked in her hair.
Her mother was a famous botanist and researcher in plant life, so Sothis through her whole life knew all sorts of flowers. But this was the first time she saw those kind of flowers, white but with little specks of gold in the petals.
They looked like gold she would see on the lacings and frills of wedding dresses.
Though what caught her attention past the flowers was the painting itself, one of homes tucked into mountains but littered with decorations as well as people bustling around the streets.
Yet what Sothus saw that stood amongst the people was a woman holding hands with a young girl wearing flowers in her hair, a sight of peace. A part of her felt moved just seeing this sight that she couldn't help but mutter,
"This is… home..?"
It was then the person painting turned around and Sothis wasn't sure who was the person painting it, yet a part of her felt shocked all the same.
It was a beautiful woman with perhaps the most green eyes she had ever seen and her long hair braided to the side of her shoulders.
Yet what didn't explain was how shocked the woman looked and how tears filled her eyes, that she unconsciously took a step back.
Why did she do that?
Mother? Did she remind this stranger of her mother? It was strange but before Sothis could say anything did the woman speak up, wiping her tears, "Ah.. no. I'm sorry. I must have mistaken you with someone else. Goodness…"
"Ah no," Sothis's voice trailed off awkwardly before looking to the painting, "It's a beautiful painting. And… I also noticed the flowers in your hair were flowers I never seen before."
It's silent between them before Sothis looked over and in an attempt to try to make conversation, pointed to the painting, "I mean… It's a mysterious painting! Like the other people in the painting don't seem to have faces. Only the little girl."
"It's… a secret. But it is of me and my mother during my happiest times. You looked similar to my mother in her youth, I apologize for my other comment but… it was as if she came back to me," Sothis could hear the pain laced within those words and she felt uncomfortable.
She wasn't this person's mother but at the same time a part of Sothis whispered, how sad.
How painfully sad.
"... I think it would be nice to paint something happier then. It's such a lovely day after all like," Sothis's eyes glanced around before spotting a patch of flowers, "There's some forget me nots here!"
She went over and knelt before it, smiling and looked to the stranger. "How about it? I'd also be happy to act as the subject of the painting!"
The woman stared at her for moments until she gave Sothis a smile and set down the canvas, putting up a new one.
"Then… I'll do so. You can stand however you like," The woman took in her hand a pencil and slowly began to sketch. "... You're quite dressed up though. Is there something important I'm keeping you from?"
"Oh no.. I stepped away because the wedding I was at was busy and I needed fresh air." She smiled as she fidgeted and beamed at the painter, "Today my brother got married to his husband! They're being super cuddly so I wanted to get some fresh air."
"My, what a joyous occasion!..." The woman giggled as she finished sketching and began to paint slowly, before she spoke up again. "They must be incredibly happy aren't they?"
Sothis thought about it and she remembered all the times when Dimitri visited their family, he always made sure Byleth was attended to and make sure to include their family on serious discussions.
Especially the one time Dimitri had bowed and asked her parents for Byleth's hand in marriage earnestly.
She giggled. At the time Byleth had been so shocked but joined Dimitri in asking permission to get married to each other. They were really perfect for each other.
"Yeah. They wanna adopt too so I'm hoping they do too so I can be the greatest aunt ever," Sothis grinned yet she looked to the painting the painter put away.
What was that painting that made her so uncomfortable? Hmm. As the woman painted did Sothis look up at the sky and saw the sun was setting.
"I have to go but I really wanted to see the painting…"
She sulked as the other woman smiled and set her brush down. "I wouldn't want to keep you waiting. Perhaps one day you'll see the painting when it's finished."
"Yeah! Then I'll be going then! Good bye," Sothis began to run off as the woman watched and spoke up,
"Good bye… Sothis."
As Sothis rushed off did slowly her running speed slowed down to a walk, and she slowly turned around after some time. The woman had vanished when Sothis did turn around and she pondered to herself.
"... How did she know my name?"
"Rhea. Please don't vanish like that all of a sudden. It was quite hard to track you down."
Sitting in a car next to the park did Seteth sigh and adjust the tie on his suit. "I panicked when Shamir told me you were gone. Now… I suppose you saw her didn't you?"
Rhea was quiet before she touched the painting, one that despicted the girl but alongside a rough painting of Byleth in a field of forget me nots.
"I did. Flynn told me by mistake. I just.. had to go see her even if it wasn't mother." Rhea couldn't help but trace her fingers along the canvas. "That girl… Will never be the mother I miss but she's smiling like her when she was most happy."
Tears filled her eyes.
"And she is with that dear child too and they've found happiness."
It was then tears fell on to the canvas and blurring some colors, as they fell slowly one by one. "Seeing her face now reminded me of who mother really was. I've.. made many mistakes haven't I? And muddied humanity with my own ill will."
Seteth was quiet as he shook his head. "No. Humanity still has their flaws. But right now.. the tragedy of everything is done. Besides… You can always meet her again Rhea. I've already been looking after humanity in my own way, you don't have to worry about being a powerful being."
He smiled. "You can simply talk to her without any care in the world. Just like in those times."
Rhea closed her eyes before slowly she covered her face and choked out her words, "... Yes. Yes…"
"... Let's return home. I still have to look into the sanctuaries of the wyverns and pegasuses. So please join me Rhea. It would do you some good."
Slowly the car rolled off and into the dark, the forget-me-nots in the park swaying along the night wind.
Dimitri stretched as he looked to Byleth nuzzled up to him, both of them sitting outside of the wedding reception and hands clasped together.
"... We really had a hectic day today."
Dimitri looked over to Byleth who was cuddled up to him. Byleth was definitely different from the person he met in the past, especially since the other was aging. His hair was a tad longer and Byleth currency wore studs in his ears, as Dimitri felt his heart full of love.
The studs were Dimitri's first gift to Byleth when they were first dating, and seeing Byleth wearing them to this day made Dimitri tickle with a fluttery feeling.
"... We're really married," Byleth couldn't help but cuddle a bit more he continues to speak up, "... It's strange. For some reason it doesn't feel real to me, but… being here like this makes me feel.. safe."
"Well we're married now," Dimitri smiled, "And… I won't let this hand go," Dimitri gently squeezed their joined hands together before he pressed their joined hands to his lips.
Years ago, he had fallen in love with this person in the past and now here he was married to the Byleth in this time.
"... Hey. Now that we're married," Byleth stared at Dimitri, "I've always wondered one thing. Why… did you cry when we first meet?"
".... That's.. Well… If I tell you the story would you believe me? It's.. a little ridiculous truthfully." Then again Dimitri hadn't thought of that incident in quite some time but.. he didn't want to hide it from Byleth.
Byleth smiled at his husband before shaking his head at how silly Dimitri was being. "... Honestly. I know how you are now. I'll believe you. So… Tell me? The story that you only know?"
Dimitri took a deep breath and smiled as he leaned in to his husband's cheek.
"... I suppose I'll have to. But I know that at least...this story has a happy ending. So let me tell you,"
The story of the world's strangest unrequited love in that summer day.
And the story of a love that went against time itself.