Theme Set: Tenth
# 01 - No
The "No."s they had started out with gradually became less and less frequent and vehement, until one day - or so Roche hopes - "Yes." will resound through the chapel, clear and strong.
# 02 - Athlete
Angelique is delicate and demure, clearly not a country girl; when her eyes shine with gratitude for his offer of moving the furniture for her, he cracks his most charming jokes and hopes his voice doesn’t sound as wheezy as it feels.
# 03 - Journey
The Aube Hunters take her to all corners of Arcadia, but Roche doesn’t mind; he’d travel to the end of the world just to get one shot of her.
# 04 - Hate
He should be grateful - he really should, and the voice of his dead mother tells him off for it, but upon seeing Rayne suck the water from her lungs and breathe new life into her, Roche isn’t pleased or relieved at all.
# 05 - Rend
It was pain that opened the door for them, that made her look beyond his cheek and effrontery and him beyond her fate; she is well aware of this, and it makes her all the more determined to create happiness for them.
# 06 - Carnival
She loves her ‘knights’ dearly, the gallant protectors of elegant Hidamari Mansion, as much as she loves Hannah and Sally at the peaceful Melrose Academy for Girls, but none of them have ever taken her to the kind of places Roche shows her.
# 07 - Would
She would have loved him, if her love did not belong to all of Arcadia; she would have smiled for him, cried on his shoulder, berated him and cherished him, had she not been the Queen’s Egg; her confirmation before he disappears from her mind is perhaps hardest of all to bear, because with those words he cannot even convince himself it was only ever between his own two ears.
# 08 - Fight
Roche is no Purifier like Rayne, Nyx, Hyuuga and J.D., he cannot fight Thanatos and protect her the way they do - but even though that becomes painfully clear as they all get to know each other, Angelique never changes her mind about him.
# 09 - Character
Angelique is so overwhelmingly amazing and lovable, Roche gets the urge to straighten his worn jacket and run a hand through his hair every time he sees her.
# 10 - Woman
She’s not just any soft-spoken little girl he’s picked up in the streets of Wodon; Angelique is the future Queen in every tinkling laugh, every gentle touch, and she makes him feel humble in a way no other woman ever has.
# 11 - Moment
Sometimes, when duty presses down on her like a lead weight, she thinks she sees Roche’s face from the corner of her eye, peeking at her through the branches of a tree, around the edge of a building, in a bustling crowd... but when she turns her head to look, he’s never there.
# 12 - Upset
He’s set up an elaborate scheme to make them cross paths and allow himself to strike up a conversation, at the very least, or spirit her away from her guardians if he’s lucky... and in the end, they bump into each other and knock bruises into each other’s heads, purely by accident.
# 13 - Sweet
Roche likes his food sweet, from fruit and bread to meat and spices, and though he is not a bad cook, per se, it’s enough to permanently cure Angelique of her own sweet tooth.
# 14 - Sight
Nyx, Roche concludes as he watches her walk down the isle in her radiant dress of white and aquamarine, was an idiot for ever dressing her in dark colours.
# 15 - Numb
He died a hero, they tell her; he died protecting the orphans and nuns, they tell her; she does not hear past ‘he died’, and everything after changes into you failed.
# 16 - Shell
First, it was pictures of herself; second, panoramic shots of the places they had been, action stills of the people they had met; then he started sending pictures of nature, of art, of happy and beautiful things, their stories written on the back; his way of heartening her.
# 17 - Wizard
There was always something vaguely creepy about Nyx that made Roche’s reporter-senses tingle, so when he hears what happened to Hidamari Mansion, he is, in the heartbeat before concern and grief grip his heart, more angry at himself than surprised.
# 18 - More
She was once so, so innocent, but now that he has introduced her to the world of heated kisses and caresses in secret places, she can’t get enough; luckily, he has fervour to spare.
# 19 - Universe
His photography fascinates her, with its ability to capture the special angles that make the world clear and comprehensive, beautiful or tragic; images of remote places inspire her more than anything to do all she can for the world.
# 20 - Ache
In the midst of Thanatos, Aube Hunters, impeding doom and looming coronations, nothing seems more real to Angelique than Roche carrying her on his back through the streets of Wodon so a doctor can look at her sprained ankle.
# 21 - Wind
Among the orphans and those who keep smiling in times of hardship, Roche is like a bird in the sky; Angelique keeps the memory of him close to her heart, ready to call upon when she needs a set of wings of her own.
# 22 - Escape
Angelique can hardly remember silly dreams she used to have about knights on white horses, coming to take her away; her friends in Hidamari Mansion have dashed those fantasies expertly, with Roche delivering the fatal blow that day in Wodon (for which she is still glad).
# 23 - Like
When the world is finally safe again, Hyuuga is left to wonder where the young Princess gets her mischievous amber-eyed grin; there is no-one left to tell him.
# 24 - Devil
He grins like a devil while he plays the body of an angel, and if this is what purgatory is like, they never want to leave it.
# 25 - Song
It’s really no wonder Hyuuga tried to spear him when they realised Roche was underneath Angelique’s window: his singing is terrible.
# 26 - Euphemism
Roche suspected that even if he could get Bernard to search the entire world for words to describe what he and Angelique shared, there would be no way to bring the full truth to light.
# 27 - Dealt
It was a good thing, they agreed after another one of Bernard’s thorough interviews, that Roche had the expertise and the network needed to keep other reporters at bay; if they had to do this much more often, there wouldn’t be any more time left for them to enjoy the very love affair it was all about.
# 28 - Romance
At first, Roche thought he might have just caught some kind of romantic flu that drove the girls away; it wasn’t until he found himself actively seeking out girls with pale hair and blue-green eyes that he understood.
# 29 - Heed
His introduction in Hidamari Mansion came with a warning - a dark look, clenched fists and the promise that anything he did to hurt Angelique, Rayne would return to him tenfold.
# 30 - Let
He hardly knew the guy and doesn’t really understand how they differentiate between ‘defective’ and dead, but when Angelique needs to get away from it all for a little while, Roche is there for her.
# 31 - Compose
Acclimatizing is something Angelique quickly gets down to an art; without losing any of her ever-sparkling spirit, she easily switches from the high-class court mannerisms to the open, laid back ways of downtown Wodon.
# 32 - Switch
In general, Angelique was a quiet, modest girl; when Roche was around, though, it was like she became a different person, one that delighted in being entertained and being in the center of attention - albeit by and of only one person.
# 33 - Rule
"I never take pictures I can’t profit from." had once been a motto he followed religiously, but then again, he’d also always been a fan of "Rules are made to be broken.".
# 34 - Calm
One thing Angelique was less than thrilled about concerning Roche was his inability to sit still, be quiet and refrain from trying to make her laugh or blush for extended periods of time; she would like to admire the original the same way she admired his pictures.
# 35 - Beast
Some part of him still wanted to test her, to see if she wasn’t really too good to be true; the way wisdom only heightened her innocence awakened dark urges inside him, bringing images of ravishing her, making her scream, writhe and moan, using her so callously and exhaustively that she was brought down to the level of a common whore... and it is all he can do to keep these urges contained when the opportunity to live them out arises.
# 36 - Missing
He burned them all in a fit of frustration, but once he sees the empty walls, his hands itch to take new pictures; nothing will get her out of his heart.
# 37 - Pulse
The knowledge that the Aube Hunters grieve for her as much as he does just isn’t enough.
# 38 - Brush
Roche is a little put off when she asks him to pose for a portrait, until she explains that unless he is the one to take them, she will never enjoy photographs as much as they deserve.
# 39 - Warning
The fact that the smile never leaves mild-mannered, towering J.D.’s face is perhaps the scariest part.
# 40 - Field
When Roche gives her flowers, he doesn’t do it through a bouquet; he shows her a photograph of a beautiful, brightly mottled meadow and tells her he can take her there.
# 41 - Bronze
Too much fun in the streets of Wodon, Angelique finds, may give you a good time while you’re having it, but it leaves a less than pleasant sunburn and downright obnoxious gloating and teasing from Roche.
# 42 - Core
Angelique is used to taking out the apple’s core before eating it; Roche doesn’t know how to do this, but his attempts earn him a kiss nonetheless.
# 43 - Mask
When the self-made smile is no longer enough, they still have each other.
# 44 - Justice
There is only so much he can get away with ‘for the good cause’, and Angelique, supportive as she is, is always there to remind him of that.
# 45 - Weight
Carrying her still, limp form back to the others shouldn’t be so easy.
# 46 - Replace
The Queen needs a suitable consort, but somehow Angelique knows that the choice of her heart would never be accepted.
# 47 - If
If the Thanatos had never existed the world would be a much happier place, but a deeply buried selfish part of him - a part that secretly resents his parents as much for leaving him as it does Erebos for taking them away - is glad that this is not the case, because it would mean he never would have met her.
# 48 - Code
With a woman who loves the whole world enough to give up her health and happiness to protect it, it takes skill and experience to distinguish her more personal signs of love; Roche is determined to acquire both.
# 49 - When
She is left to bitterly wonder when a little hardship ever stopped him from pursuing happiness before.
# 50 - Sigh
With Erebos defeated, they can finally breathe easily, knowing that by the end of the day, they will be in bed with the one they love, stroking their hair and watching them sleep.