Lucina hummed to herself softly as she worked, cleaning the accumulated dust and dirt caking the inlaid patterns that covered Falchion's guard. Not for the first time she wondered at how Naga had returned all of her gear back to the exact spot it had been before they were summoned, and yet hadn't removed the grime picked up during their adventures in the other world.
Still, gives me something to do I suppose, she mused. It was late in the afternoon on the day they'd returned, Robin having left for the Palace's library to continue some of the research he'd been toying with for a near a month now. Not that she complained, it was nice to have some time alone to just think. Gods know after everything that had been thrown at them, she needed some time to process-
The rest of the thought was robbed by a soft knock on her door. Setting her Falchion aside, Lucina turned, speaking up so whoever was on the other side could hear. "Come in."
A moment passed before the door slowly creaked open as Marc hesitantly stepped inside, a long, thin bundle of cloth cradled in his arms. From its shape Lucina guessed it was a sword, nearly four feet in length and bungling out where the crossguard would be.
"Mother, do you mind if I speak to you for a moment?"
Lucina smiled. "Of course you can. I hope your sister didn't run you too ragged today, dragging you all over the place."
Marc shook his head. "It was nice… to see everything again… not destroyed. I can't think of the last time I had the chance to remember the happier days."
"It feels strange, doesn't it? Almost like it's a dream," Lucina agreed. "It was painful at first, coming back here for the first time. But it gets better…"
"I'd forgotten you'd gone through this too…" Marc said softly, trailing off. For a long moment he said nothing, a minute drifting by before he spoke again. "Mother, I…" He swallowed, seeming to be mustering his courage. "I… should have given this too you sooner."
Lucina nodded, taking a seat on the edge of her and Robin's bed, shifting over so her son could sit next to her. She remembered the bundle from amongst the small assortment of things Marc had packed with him when they'd departed the other world. While she'd been curious at the time, she'd thought better about questioning him regarding the object's identity, figuring he would reveal it given his own time.
Sitting down next to her, Marc extended his arms, offering the object to her. He averted his eyes to the floor the moment the bundle passed into her possession, appearing almost ashamed and fearful of her reaction.
Slowly Lucina unwound the wrapping, cloth falling away to reveal the black hilt of a sword. Wrapped in black leather, the hilt and guard was shaped from an obsidian like metal. The cross guard itself was richly carved, forming the visage of a dragon's open maw, the weapon's still covered blade extending like the beast's fiery breath. Lucina shuddered as the light caught the rubies set in the place of the Dragon's eye, three on either side, marking with no mistake that it had been made to the Fell Dragon's likeness.
In an a flash she saw again the fell glow of Grima's eyes, and the clawing fear as his maw rushed forward to swallow her whole. She squeezed her eyes shut, forcing herself to remember her blade sinking into the monster's chest, the look of frightened disbelief that had twisted Grima's face as he died in that other world. You killed him and he will never hurt you again.
Grimacing, Lucina tore her eyes from the unpleasant reminder of her now vanquished foe. Tugging at the remaining cloth, unveiling a long silvery blade that seemed to glow in the sunlight drifting through the nearby window.
Lucina gasped, her eyes widening as she noticed a faint line a gold that ran down the spine of the blade, perfectly flush with the gleaming silver. "Is this…?" Lucina asked, turning her head to Marc for confirmation.
For a long moment her son said nothing, his gaze shackled to the floor. Then at last he noddely slowly, but otherwise did not look at her. "It's my… your Falchion. After you died… Fath- Grima discovered that I was able to wield it." He glanced up meeting her gaze for an instant before returning it to the floor. In that moment the she saw pain and guilt in equal measure, as if he had long blamed himself for what had befallen the blade. "After that he… he had it's appearance altered. As a… final insult to the Exalted bloodline… to you…"
Lucina glanced between Morgan and the blade as he spoke. The revelation that Marc could wield Falchion had caught her by surprise. In all of their practices together Morgan had never been able to use the blade effectively, her ability to harness it's power seeming to come and go unpredictably. More often than not, however, the blade remained dull and powerless in her hands.
Lucina touched the blade's surface. It felt cold, so very cold, radiating none of her own Falchion's warmth. "He did more than just rework the blade, didn't he?" Lucina asked softly, looking back to her son.
Marc nodded again. "He… did something to it… changed it…" He shuddered visibly, seeming to sink where he sat as attempting to hide from view. "Ever since then it felt… wrong… unclean…"
Lucina shuddered again, the thought of Grima's corruption on the blade sickening her to the core. Grima must have known that, just altering Falchion's appearance wouldn't have been enough of a victory for him. Carefully she rewrapped the blade, then held the hilt out to Marc.
"I cannot take this. You are the blade's wielder, not I," Lucina explained at the look of confusion on his face.
"I… I can't. I don't deserve it…" her son trailed off, shaking his head.
"Falchion says otherwise," Lucina replied, smiling gently. "Your ability to use it says all that needs to be said."
"But how can I be worthy?" he asked softly, his voice so quiet that she could barely make out what was said. "How can I after everything I did? Falchion belongs to a hero… not me…" He trembled, his eyes squeezed shut as his grip falling away from the sword's hilt "Maybe I can only use it because of what Grima did, because I am as tainted as it and-"
"Marc," Lucina said gently, interrupting his tirade of self-loathing. She place her hand on his, closing his fingers around Falchion's hilt. "You know that is not true. You are worthy of this."
"Didn't you just say that Grima altered Falchion only after he discovering you could wield it?" She asked.
For a long moment Marc said nothing, before he nodded slowly, confirming her words to be correct.
"Falchion chose you, and not by any design of Grima's," Lucina assured him. She squeezed his hand, conveying in the touch every ounce of her support she could muster. "You defied Grima in the end, which is no small thing. You are worthy of Falchion's legacy. I know that the other me would be proud of you."
Marc blinked slowly, a tear tracing a line of silver down his cheek.
"Mother… I... " His words faltered for a moment, his voice cracking. "I… thank you…" He sniffed, wiping his eyes on the sleeve of his coat.
Lucina smiled gently. "We should get Falchion reworked as soon as we are able, return it to how it should be. Let us not allow Grima's final insult to remain upon the blade."
"Okay…" Marc nodded, sniffing again. "But what about Grima's magic… it…"
"We'll figure something out," Lucina assured him. "I know we will."
"You do?" Marc asked, his eyes widening with newfound curiosity.
"Of course," Lucina replied, her smile deepening. "Perhaps it is merely your father's legendary optimism rubbing off on me, but I feel as though everything will work out in the end." Reaching out she wrapped an arm around her son's shoulders, hugging him. "I couldn't be prouder of you, either."
. . . . .
Morgan peeked around the corner into her parents room. Besides her father working at his desk, the space was devoid of any other inhabitants.
Nope, not in here either!
Ducking back out of sight, Morgan continued down the hall, checking the remaining rooms to no avail. Where could he be, I wonder if… oh, I know!
Making her way to the front of the Royal Palace, Morgan stepped out onto the the wide balcony that overlooked the capital city. It was late, the sun having long set, so that the city seemed to glow with thousands of lights from within each house or street lamp.
Sure enough, she spied her brother standing out on the balcony. The hood of his coat was down, so that she wouldn't have even had to worry about confusing him with father had she not already seen him that he was in his room. Marc's gaze was fixed on the city that stretched out before them, his expression seeming almost pensive.
Morgan noticed that his weird looking sword was sheathed at his side for the first time since they'd returned. She made a note to ask him about it later.
"Hey, little brother, whatcha thinking about?" Morgan called out, moving to stand next to him.
Marc jumped at the sound of her voice, glancing back over his shoulder, then released the sudden tenseness that seemed taken hold of his body as his eyes fell upon her. "How do you know I'm the younger one. I could be older and you could just not remember," he countered, turning his gaze back to the cityscape below
Morgan shrugged. "No idea, you just seemed like the little brother in the relationship. Oh, and I am two years older than you now. Time travel is fun." She grin, leaning against the railing in mirror of her twin's stance. "But I'd bet I was still older before that. I am good at telling these things… usually...sometimes… kinda…."
"Ten minutes," her brother admitted, sighing.
He fell silent again, the two of them standing there for a long while until at Morgan broke the silence. "So, did you like the super awesome Morgan tour of awesomeness?" she asked, grinning cheerfully.
"I can't say it wasn't fun. Bit like when we were little. You dragging me around everywhere," Marc replied, his gaze still on focused on the horizon.
"Cool! Ooooh, we should play Justice Cabal with Cynthia and Owain tomorrow. That would be so fun!" Morgan explained, hopping up and down with barely contained excitement. "I bet we played that all the time when we were little. Come on, tell me we did. I want to…" Morgan trailed off, noticing that her brother wasn't smiling at this thought. Instead he seemed distant… sad even.
"What's wrong?" She asked, reaching out to put a hand on her arm. "Come on, this is no time to be all sad. Things are fine no. No more bad future."
Marc shook his head slow. "I'm sorry I just… I wish I could be as cheerful as you… but after everything Father… Grima made us do, I..." her brother shuddered visibly, his eyes squeezed shut. "How do you do it Morgan? How do you deal with the guilt?"
Morgan frowned, considering her answer long and hard. At last she sighed somberly. "To be honest, I'm not quite sure myself. Probably helps that I don't remember the things I did, makes it easier to focus on how I can make them right." She smiled again, turning her head to look at her younger brother. "I can't change what happened, so I will instead dedicate full maximum Morgan effort on making up for the bad things I did. With good things. Like saving cats stuck in trees! I love cats, so that's a win-win right there. Though the scratches do hurt."
For a moment Morgan saw a smile tugging at the corners of Marc's lips. Then, as quickly as they had come, it vanished. "I wish I'd been sent back too, with you. I wish I could forget…" He trailed off, falling silent for a long moment. When he finally spoke again, his voice had fallen to a faint whisper. "Why couldn't father have helped me too... didn't he care about me too? Why- Ouch!"
The rest of her words faded in a yelp, coinciding for Morgan's hand smacking him on the back of the head. "Don't even think like that. You know father wished he could have saved you too. He would have too, if he'd could. Heck, you could have even gone back in time while I stayed, if Grima had swapped who was sent on what mission," Morgan told him, crossing her arms firmly.
"I know... " Marc whispered, his shoulders sinking. "I just wish… wish things had been different. I wish none of this ever happened."
"We can't change the past. Well… we can actually. We kinda do that alot, just not our past. Just a very similar past. Like this past." Morgan waved her arms wildly out in front of her, motioning to the entire world around them. "Though if you still want to forget, we could go bang your head against some wooden poles. I tried doing that to get my memories back once, but Mother told me that was more likely to make me lose more memories than get others back."
Now a smile did break out across Marc's face, her brother raising his head to look up at her. ",Thanks"
"Oohh, cool," Morgan grinned suddenly. "I'll go get the pole, there should be some somewhere…" She whirled around, about to hurry off in search of-
"What? No, I mean for trying to cheer me up," Marc explained quickly, Morgan coming to a sudden stop.
"Awwwww, but I wanted to watch you hit your head against stuff. It would have been hilariouuuus," She whined, pouting as she returned back to the balcony.
Marc laughed, his expression brightening as a result of her animated reaction,. "So you really tried to hit yourself to bring your memories back?"
"Yep. Though that was before I knew what those memories would be," Morgan replied, at once returning to simple-minded cheerfulness. It was hard to complain for long, honestly it was.
"And do you still want to remember?" Marc asked, glancing her way curiously.
Morgan frowned, the question leaving her honestly stumped. For a long while she considered it, speaking slowly as she finished. "I'm not sure. When he died, father told me that I didn't want to remember… but I'm not so sure. I think I'd like to at least remember all the good times we had." She turned, gazing at her brother as an idea occurred to her. "If you think you're up for it, I'd like to hear about those. Even if they bring back some of the bad ones, I'm sure great memories mixed with the bad ones will be worth it."
Morgan nodded "I think I can try. Oh there was this one time where we…" At last his smile was here to stay this time as he began to recount their shared past. Perhaps he'd begun to realise what she had, that no matter how dark the past, the bright future they had now was sure to make up for it.
. . . . .
Robin stared at the blank sheet of paper sitting on the center of his desk. He absently swirled his quill in its inkwell, struggling to muster the motivation to form words on the empty sheet. He needed to get this done, to write down the details of the days spent in that other world while the details were still fresh in his mind. It would be premiss of his as a tactician not to, being able to revisit the strategies employed by both sides and learn from them could prove critical at some later date.
Yet as hard as he tried his mind kept wandering back to the other him they'd encountered in that world. No matter how much he wished to deny it, the similarities between the two of them left him unsettles. He could have been that monster, almost had be had not been strong enough to resist Valiar's control. A razor's edge separated him from the Robin of that world, a whim of fate standing between Grima's unwilling slave and the man he was now.
He grimaces, grinding his teeth painfully. After he'd returned it had been all too easy to isolate what the him from Lucina's future had done. He'd fought his future self and won, returning to the world free of his cursed fell blood. He'd chosen his friend's over godhood, and through their bonds had helped bring about a better future. But this time… this time he had no moral high ground to standby, no excuse to cling to for why he was different monster he might have been. Why he hadn't done those things.
"You're brooding," a voice announced from behind him.
Robin jumped, nearly falling out of his chair. Turning to look over his shoulder he found Lucina standing a few feet away, her expression showing naked concern. He hadn't even heard her enter.
"How can you tell?" he asked, not denying her assertion.
"You've been staring at that piece of paper for twenty minutes now. Its not hard to tell when something's bothering you," Lucina explained, a knowing smile tugging at the corner of her lips.
"Twenty minutes? I didn't notice her for that long?
Sighing Robin turned back to his desk, tapping a finger against the empty white sheet
Behind him Lucina stepped forward, leaning down to rest her arms on his shoulders.
"What's troubling you?"
For long moment Robin said nothing, struggling to put his unsettled thoughts into words. At last he raised his gaze. "Am I… am I good person, Lucina?"
"Of course you are, why would you even need to ask that?" Lucina answered, her tone gentle "You are the kindest, most caring person I have ever met."
"Then why do I keep causing so much pain? So many have suffered because of me, in your world and in Morgan's," Robin explained. He paused, shaking his head sadly. "I… what if this world was just a fluke, what if it's my destiny to be a monster, to hurt the people I care about. In Morgan's world… that could have been me, Lucina."
He trailed off, bitter laughter falling from his lips. " In Morgan's world… that could have been me, Lucina. If fate had decided differently, I could have been the one in his place. I would have failed you, Morgan, Marc and everyone… and I…"
"Shhh," Lunina shushed him gently, wrapping her arms around his chest. "You can't blame yourself for what happened in that other world. What matters is it didn't happen here, and never will." Lips brushed against Robin's cheek as Lucina leaned down, kissing him sweetly.
"Gods, Robin, you're the only man I know who insists on being this stubborn when it comes to blaming himself," Lucina interrupted."I can't stand if when you do this to yourself, you can't hold yourself responsible for every what if or could of."
She squeezed him tighter, resting her head against his. "You didn't fail… the other you, I mean. He never gave up, never stopped fighting. He helped ensure that world is now free of Grima's darkness, and gave Morgan and Marc a chance a better future."
"Only after putting them through so much pain. Only after killing the woman he loves…" Robin argued, shaking his head.
"But here they will have a happier live, only now its up to use to give it to them," Lucina countered. "And when the little Morgan and Marc are born, we can make sure that they never have to go through the same pain. Together."
Robin blinked, her vision blurring with building moisture. "I… thank you. I'd tear myself to bits without you looking out for me." He leaned back,lifting his head to kiss her on the cheek.
"You won't ever need to worry about that. No matter what happened or where you go, I will be at your side. Even if I must return from the dead to do it," Lucina promised, mirroring his own word from a night that seems now almost an eternity ago. "Come," she said, tapping his arm. "Your work can wait until tomorrow. You need rest."
Nodding, Robin stood, following his beautiful wife who he would be lost without over to their bed, tossing his coat onto the chair behind him. A smile on his lips.
. . . . .
"Come on, Lucina, at ,least let Lissa make sure it's nothing serious," Robin insisted.
Lucina's reply came in an annoyed groan, her blue hair spilling out around the sides of her face as she sat hunched over the bucket she'd vomited into moments before. It was morning, Robin having been awoken by her being sick.
"Lucina, please," he pleaded, rubbing her back in an attempt to sooth her discomfort. "This isn't the first time you've been sick like this. Remember the first day in that other future? Or a week before that?"
"I'm fine, Robin, I'm sure it's nothing," Lucina assured him.
"In that case there's no harm in Lissa confirming that it's nothing," Robin countered. "Please? I know I'm being paranoid, but I'd rather stay on the side of caution. You're too important to me not to…"
Lucina nodded slowly, raising her head to meet his gaze. "... alright, let us go then."
Smiling in thanks, Robin extended a hand, helping his wife to her feet. "Do you think you'll be able to walk on your own?"
"I can manage," Lucina replied. She took a step, swaying on unsteady feet, nearly toppling over if not for the hand she placed on his arm to steady herself. "... mostly."
With his help supporting her weight, the two of them quickly made their way to Lissa's room further down the hall. Luckily Chrom's younger sister there, avoiding what otherwise would have forced them to search the castle top to bottom for her or another healer who could diagnose Lucina's sickness.
Despite Robin's worries, or perhaps in spite of them, Lissa did not seem to be in much of a hurry to complete the inspection as quickly as possible. She took her time, first having Lucina recount the previous times she had been sick and the symptoms, then using a few of her healing staves that she claimed would help her better determine Lucina's state of health.
Robin anxiously paced the room throughout all of this, unable to keep apprehension in check. Gods, why couldn't Lissa just hurry up? What ifs something serious? A curse, or some disease that couldn't be cured with magic? What if-
"Robin, please, try to relax. Lissa is almost through," Lucina called out, motioning for him to join him.
With an effort Robin managed to will his body to relax, dropping down onto the edge of Lissa's bed to sit next to his wife. Reaching out he took her hand in his, squeezing it tightly as he waited for Lissa's diagnosis.
After what seemed like an eternity the cleric finally finished, setting the stave she'd been using aside. "The two of you don't need to worry about anything. What Lucina's experiencing is morning sickness," Lissa explained, grinning from ear to ear.
"Morning sickness…. wait, you mean…" Robin stammered, all coherent thoughts seeming to shatter as he worked to process what the cleric had said. He looked to Lucina, her eyes wide with surprise.
"Yep! Lucina is two months pregnant, and while its still too early to tell for sure, with twins," Lissa replied, giggling as she finished
"Two months, that would mean…" Robin trailed off, doing some quick math in his head.. Two months ago would, that would be close to when he returned and-
His face burned with embarrassment as he recalled how he and Lucina had celebrated their reunion that night. Not to mention every following night that week. Clearly Lucina had come to the same tough as he, her face turning a vivid scarlet, which he had no doubt was perfect match to his own.
Gods, how had he not realized it? The timing was right too, Morgan and Marc's birthday was about seven months away. Not to mention that it would fit for their ages, the two of them weren't all that much younger than the youngest of the second generation of Shepherds, and most of them had already been born.
This seemed to amuse Lissa even more than before, somehow managing to grin even wider without tearing her own face apparent. Honestly it was kind of creepy, though not quite approaching Henry levels. "Lucky for you two Chrom isn't here right now… though maybe it would be better if he was, that would be way funnier." Lissa paused, her expression growing thoughtful for a moment. "Though, Sumia might actually explode with excitement when she hears she's going to have grandchildren. You know, baby ones."
"And you're sure they're both alright? The little ones?" Lucina asked, placing a hand on her stomach.. "With the fighting, couldn't they…" She trailed off, squeezing his hand tighter.
Lissa shook her head. "If something was wrong you would have known by now. You two did spend an extra week before coming back, remember?"
Lucina exhaled, her shoulder relaxing. It was then that Robin realised that he'd been holding his breath too. Turning to look at eachother, Robin watched as a smile began to spread across her lips. He began to smile too, the enormity of the news Lissa had given them.
"Gods, we're going to have kids… and not from some future timeline... " Robin whispered. He paused, considering what he'd just said. "Wow, I just realised how messed up our lives are when I have to preface that fact."
"I'm from the future, remember? I think it's safe to say our lives are doomed to be strange," :Lucina replied, laughing nervously. "Gods… Morgan was a handful on her own… then Marc…. and now two more of them."
"Yeah, safe to say we're doomed…" Robin laughed. Turning he looked back to Lissa. "Is it safe for us to…"
"I don't have a reason to keep you two lovebirds here. Go already!" She laughed, waving them off.
Exchanging another glance with Lucina, Robin leapt to his feet, scoping up his now revealed to be pregnant wife with him. She yelped in surprise, her shout turning to laugher as Robin set off at once everyone the good news.
What Lucina had said was right, he couldn't worry about every what if or could of. It was the here and now he needed to live in, and needed to make every second count. There was no telling what the future might bring, but he knew that they'd face whatever it held together.
Besides, how could he worry about the future when he still had to get a handle on this whole parant thing. After all, with Marc their family had grown a little bigger, and in seven months would be growing bigger still.
Author's Note: Well, we are finally here, the end of A Future Disowned. Writing this story was a great experience for me, as it was my first attempt at writing a more self-contained, focused story rather than a huge 200k+ piece like I'd done before. I enjoyed writing it and I hope you enjoyed reading it too.
Now that the story is over I would like to hear what you guys thought of it? What did you like and dislike? What do you think I could have done better or differently? As a whole, how did the story standup? Particularly, what are your thoughts on the direction I took the Future Past events and the theory the story is based on? I really really want to hear what you guys thought, so i can use that feedback to do better in the future.
However, this will not be the end to me writing Fire Emblem fanfictions, as I aim to now focus on my oneshot collection titled Love Across Time. While currently only one chapter is up, I fully intend to write more to it soon. While I will not be sticking to any particular update schedule, I will try to keep them fairly frequent. Most of the oneshots will be in continuity with A Future Disowned, with many of those taking place after this story, with at least two 3-4 chapter mini arcs planned out. I hope you guys will check that out too once I get to working on it.
Thanks again to everyone who read this story. Until next time!