Night had fallen on the country of Ylisse. Months after the fall of Grima, and the country had returned to a state of peace. While pockets of Risen and packs of bandits still terrorized the countryside, they had been reduced to small pockets, easily defeated by a fraction of the Shepherds. As a result, Chrom had decided to stamp out what was left of them once and for all, taking a small personal force to wipe them out. Only of a few of his personal friends had gone with him, the rest had remained on defensive duties. While some of them were defending the countryside from any attacks that threatened them, the majority of the Shepherds were in the capital. The city was sleepy for the first time in awhile, with the majority of the Shepherds finally able to relax. Not all of them however.
Within the castle of the city, a lone figure slipped through the hallways. Making sure not to wake any of the hundreds of servants and soldiers that slept within, the figure stopped by a door and gently opened it. A lone crib was inside, a baby no more than a year and a half old gently sleeping within. The figure gently approached the crib before looking down. "Lucina," the figured whispered. "Your father might tell me about you one day. I can't stop him from doing that. But things would be better for you if I were out of your life. I'd just make everything more complicated." The figure gave a weak smile. "Please live the life I never got to. Be happy for the both of us."
The figure looked down at her side. There was a sword in a sheath there, both a bright gold and silver. The figure reached down, gently stroking the hilt. "Should I leave it?" she asked. "Father could benefit from having two Falchions." She paused for a second before shaking her head. "I always dreamed of Father giving me Falchion. Instead I had to pull it from his cold dead hands. I won't deny you that happiness."
Turning, the figure made her way out of the nursery, gently closing the door behind her. "Lucina…" Lucina jumped as she wheeled around on the spot, her hand on Falchion's hilt. Her grip slackened as she saw a familiar purple coat and silver ponytail.
"M-mother?" Lucina stuttered out. "What are you doing up at this hour?"
"I could ask you the same question," Robin said, smiling sadly. "And what you're doing in your armor, with Falchion, and with that bag over your shoulder?" Lucina glanced at the sack that she was indeed holding in her left hand. "From the size I'd say it has enough food for a week. The lumps at the bottom look a lot like coins. Where were you going?"
"Mother please, this is something that needs to be done," Lucina said, her voice sounding almost guilty. "I will treasure the memories I made with you and Father for the rest of my life, but this isn't my time. I don't belong here." She pointed at the door. "That little girl in there needs your love more than I do. If I stay I'll complicate things for you and for her. I don't…I don't want to be a burden."
"What about Morgan?" Robin asked simply. "Are you going to make him leave"
"I-what?" Lucina asked, sounding shocked. "Morgan practically worships you! He barely has any memories of our time besides you. It'd destroy him if he was to be separated from you. Why would I ever do that to him?"
"You don't seem to have any issues with doing it to yourself," Robin said. "You don't have to leave. You've done so much for all of us. That little baby owes everything to you. Your father owes everything to you. I owe everything to you. Our world is still intact, still has a future, because of you. You deserve so much, you deserve the world on a silver platter. Why won't you stay with your family. You want to don't you?"
"Gods yes!" Lucina said, her voice raising. She whispered her head to look at the baby Lucina's door before continuing, her voice lowering. "The days I spent with you and Chrom in this time were some of the happiest of my life. They were everything I wanted from you and more. I want nothing more than to stay with you and Father. To live the life I always wanted to with Morgan and-"
"Then stay," Robin interrupted. "Chrom and I would never turn you away. You and Morgan are always welcome here."
"Mother please," Lucina begged. "Please don't make this harder for me than it has to. I want to stay. I want to hold onto you and never let go. If I do that though, I run the risk of taking your love and affection away from a little girl who isn't old enough to appreciate it yet." Lucina's eyes started to sparkle. "How could I live with myself if I did that? I may only have had a taste of what it feels like to have a mother, but she hasn't."
Robin reached out, gently taking Lucina's hand. "I want you to feel something," she said, pulling her hand forward. Robin grabbed the front of her shirt with her other hand and pulled it up, pressing Lucina's hand against her bare stomach.
Lucina gasped. She felt a small but unmistakable lump. "Is that-"
Robin nodded. "Baby Morgan is on the way. Tell me something Lucina. Do you remember when we found Morgan in the Ruins of Time?" Lucina gently nodded. "Did it change the way I treated you at all? Did you feel neglected, like he had taken your place? Did you feel like I loved you any less?"
"Of course not," Lucina said. "But-"
"I've got enough room in my heart for more than two children," Robin said. "Four? Six? Eight? It's gonna take a lot more than numbers to make me love anyone who's my child any less. I don't care if you don't belong in this timeline. You're still my daughter."
"Mother," Lucina said, tears gently flowing down her face. "I-there are still other problems. Complications from there being two of me. The line of succession, the reaction of the public. What are we going to tell the baby about me?"
"I've been thinking about it. Chrom and I have been talking about it night and day," Robin replied, reaching out and putting her hand on her daughter's shoulder. "Most likely you won't be able to succeed Chrom as the Exalt, it would be too difficult to explain to the people how you came to be in this time. But considering the way that you were ready to leave I doubt that you ever wanted to be the Exalt. We'll tell the people what you are. Family. Distant family, in a way it's true. As for the younger you, she'll have a big sister with the same name. Because as far as I'm concerned that's exactly what you are. She's my daughter, just like you're her daughter."
"Mother, I don't know," Lucina said. "You make it sounds so easy, but there are going to be complications that you can't foresee. It's just impossible that this is all going to go off without a hitch."
"We'll adjust plans on the move," Robin said. "We can talk about this with your father when he gets back. You're not thinking this through Lucina."
"I-" Lucina stuttered, tears flowing even more heavily "I just…I don't want to be selfish."
"Oh Lucina," Robin said, grabbing her daughter and pulling her into a tight hug. Lucina stood still, stunned for a second, before dropping her bag of provisions and embracing her mother. "You've been carrying a burden for so long, but it's over now. Grima is gone. You don't need to struggle or suffer anymore. Please just live the life Chrom and I couldn't give to you in your time." Robin's voice cracked a little. "Please don't let me fail you as a mother a second time."
Lucina blinked, the tears flowing a little less now. It was almost impossible to comprehend. In her time this was the woman who had murdered her father, slit his throat in his sleep and then spread darkness across the world. Had traveled back in time to do everything in her power to destroy this world. She had once held this woman at sword point and had intended to kill her in an attempt to save this world. Yet this woman was now holding her and pleading with her. Begging for her to stay and for Lucina to let her be her mother. It felt impossible that they had at one point been the same woman
"You haven't," Lucina croaked out, pulling back slightly and looking her mother in the face. "You never did. You trusted me the very moment I told you who I was. You stood by me through everything, even after all the mistakes I made." Lucina choked a little before continuing. "I have a hard time remembering what you were like before Grima took you over in my time. I used to dream what it would be like to have a mother watch over me. They…don't compare."
Robin smiled. Lucina's tears were slowly coming to a stop as she raised her arm and began to wipe them away. "Will you please stay with us? Chrom and I would miss you dearly if you left. Morgan as well. You know how he looks up to you."
Lucina sniffed weakly before replying. "You're certain I won't be a burden?"
"You could never be a burden," Robin said. "You're my daughter."
Lucina swallowed. "This feels too good to be true. I feel like I'm going to wake up at any second and you'll be gone. Just a distant memory."
Robin smiled. "I'm not going anywhere."
"Then yes Mother. Yes I'll stay," Lucina said, a shy smile breaking out over her face. She gave a small hiccup as she started to dry her tears again. "I'm sorry. I got so worked up there that I-"
"Here," Robin said, extending her hand and offering Lucina a cup of water. Lucina blinked and looked around Robin for the source of a cup. A small jug was sitting on a nearby table, one awfully close to her mother. She looked back at Robin, who let out a small chuckle. "I had a feeling that you might need a drink to calm you down. Call it mother's intuition if you will." Lucina took the cup and pressed it to her lips, the ice cold water pouring down her throat. It was a wonderful feeling, she could almost feel the tension that had been building up in her chest melt away.
"Ah," she sighed as she lowered the now empty cup. "Thank you Mother."
"Anything for you," Robin said.
"I'm sorry. Sorry I was going to leave without telling you," Lucina said, her face flushing. "I was being selfish. I didn't want to have to say goodbye. Can you forgive me?"
"And you won't have to," Robin said. "And there's nothing to forgive."
"Thank you mother," Lucina said. "If-if you don't mind I think I'm going to go back to bed. It's been an emotionally exhausting night for me."
"I can certainly imagine. We'll talk about it more in the morning if you want to," Robin said, giving Lucina another short hug. "I love you Lucina."
"I love you too mother."
Author's Note: Something about Lucina leaving if she isn't married just rubs me the wrong way. It doesn't feel right, almost to the point where it's out of character. She clearly doesn't have any problems staying if she's married to anyone else. Heck, she has to stay if she's married to the Avatar otherwise she's dooming Morgan to never be born. I just thought I'd write up a little story exploring her being convinced to stay, and here we go. Hope you enjoy this little side project I did. New From the Ashes chapter soon, I promise.