~Chapter Thirty Five: Begin Again~
There was a certain air of excitement that hung in the air around Ylisse's castle; the crackling feeling of anticipation seemed to pervade the whole building as butlers and maids ran around busily preparing things. As the young Lucina peeked out from behind her bedroom door, she couldn't help but giggle as Lissa nearly smacked into a crowd of servants on her way over.
"Watch where you're going with that box, that's extremely important!" Lissa scolded, before turning to the open door. Upon seeing Lucina giggling at her, the healer smiled before walking over and entering the princess's room.
"You better not be making fun of me," Lissa said with a smile as Lucina ran up to her aunt and hugged her skirt. Looking up at the healer, the toddler grinned before asking curiously, "Where's Mother? Isn't she coming to dress me up today?"
Leaning down, Lissa smoothed her hand over Lucina's hair before saying gently, "No, not today-she's got enough to worry about right now I'm sure! It's my turn to dress you."
For a moment Lucina pouted, before sighing, "Okay. But can we PLEEEEEEASE go see Mother after this? I really wanted to give her something…it's important that she gets it right away!" Seeing the determination in her niece's eyes, Lissa smiled and straightened up. Taking Lucina's hand, the healer replied, "Of course! Shall we get ready then?"
"Um…Lucina, is this really necessary? I think it's a bit much, don't you?"
"Oh Mother, you worry too much. Father will love you in this!"
Robin's uncertain expression reflected from the mirror as the tactician reached down to touch the large jeweled bracelet she wore. Glancing back down at the heavy jewelry, the tactician sighed before looking back up to her teenage daughter; hair pulled up and back, the future Lucina grinned enthusiastically at her mother. Unable to resist smiling back, Robin reached up to touch her daughter's cheek gently before murmuring, "Thank you for this gift, Lucina. I'll be sure to wear it proudly today."
As Robin smiled innocently at her daughter, Lucina blushed before mumbling back, "You're welcome, Mother. You really should hurry and get in your dress before Maribelle gets here to do your hair and make-up…"
Seeing her normally stoic daughter bashful had Robin grinning-standing up, the tactician hugged her daughter tightly before saying, "Come on, help your Mother put on her dress then!"
"M-mother, let go! You'll crinkle my dress!"
"You protest too much, Lucina, you weren't even going to come and visit me until I announced that your father and I were going to renew our vows!"
As the two hugged, there was a knock at the door; glancing up, Robin called, "Who is it?"
"It's me! Mother, let me in!"
Hearing her younger self, Lucina quickly wriggled out of Robin's grasp before grabbing a nearby veil. Backing away from the tactician, the swordswoman said, "See you at the ceremony, Mother!" Before Robin could say anything the door burst open, and as the Shepherds and the young Lucina flooded into the room the older Lucina slipped out unnoticed. As Robin found herself swarmed by the group, the tactician yelped, "Hold on, hold on! Why's everyone in here!?"
"What do you mean? We're here to help you get dressed of course!" Sully grinned roughly as Sumia smiled sweetly from the side. When the two held up a large box, Robin blinked before a defensive look came over her face. Backing away, the tactician glanced around the room until her eyes met Lissa's.
"You didn't," Robin said to her sister-in-law. "No way did you-"
"Of course I had a new dress made for you!" Lissa clapped her hands together, obviously pleased with herself. "This is a renewal of vows! You can't just wear the same wedding dress as last time!"
As the other Shepherds began to advance on the tactician, Lucina ran forward; passing everyone in the blink of an eye, the toddler leapt into her mother's arms. Wrapping her arms around the tactician's neck, the little girl said, "Mother, I brought you something to wear today! I went out with Frederick and chose it myself and bought it with my pocket money that Father gave me!"
Pulling back, Robin looked down as Lucina turned and rummaged in the small bag she'd brought with her. It was only a few moments before the toddler's eyes lit up; triumphantly she pulled out a jeweled headpiece from her bag. As Robin allowed her daughter to place the headpiece on she couldn't help but make a small observation that the headpiece her four-year-old had picked out strangely matched with the bracelet that the older Lucina had picked out. Before Robin could make the observation aloud, Lucina grinned up at her and said, "You're so pretty, Mother! Wait until Father sees you!"
Smiling back, Robin kissed her daughter on the forehead and opened her mouth when Lissa interrupted the tactician.
"I hate to rush things, but it's almost time! Let's finish getting you ready, shall we?"
Chrom stood at the doors to the great hall, nervously adjusting his cape and outfit as guests streamed past him and into the room. As they smilied kindly at the Exalt, he couldn't help but blush as several of the Shepherds passed by with large winks. Taking a deep breath, Chrom closed his eyes and was in the middle of counting to ten when a voice interrupted his concentration.
"Milord, it's time. Shall we go wait at the altar?"
Frederick gently prodded Chrom's arm, causing the Exalt to open his eyes. When the knight saw the disgruntled look on his Exalt's face, he smiled before saying, "Everything will be perfect, Milord! Everyone in the kingdom is happy today to see their queen's return, and it's just a renewal of your vows. The ceremony will be one for this kingdom to remember!"
"That's what I'm worried about," Chrom grumbled under his breath as Frederick all but dragged him towards the priest. "I don't know why everyone insisted Robin and I do this, we were happy enough just being back home together and her having her memory restored. It's barely been two weeks, it feels like we're being pressured into this and everyone's expecting some kind of big show."
"You know your sister would never have let you get away with just that though," the knight reminded Chrom. "Just be patient through the ceremony and then you and Robin can take leave for a week to your holiday home for a vacation."
As the last of the guests filed in, Chrom sighed and stood up straight. Turning towards the closed doors, the Exalt glanced over at his sister in the front row before the music began to start up and his eyes moved towards the doors once more. The first thing Chrom noticed was his daughter; the older Lucina marched down the long aisle before her, carefully holding the boquet in her hands as she tried to avoid stepping on her dress. Chrom smiled, then looked behind her to see Morgan entering with the rings and the young Lucina happily throwing petals as she all but skipped across the path ahead. Taking in a large breath, Chrom finally glanced up to see Robin as she entered on her own; his breath caught in his throat at the sight of her, and as she bashfully glanced up and met his eyes with a shy smile the Exalt felt his heartbeat speed up.
A soft white lace covered the tactician's shoulders, blending into chiffon as it hugged her torso perfectly and melted into a long and flowing skirt. As Robin made her way towards the altar, she counted her steps until she reached the stairs. Looking up, she smiled to see Chrom reaching down for her, one hand extended as he stared at her in awe.
Gently taking her husband's hand, Robin allowed him to help her up the stairs until they were facing each other. As the priest began to speak, his voice booming in the silent hall, Robin glanced up to see Chrom smiling at her.
"What?" Robin mouthed, tilting her head to the side ever so slightly.
"You look nice," Chrom replied silently, grinning even wider when Robin made a face.
"Lissa and the others got to me. What about you? Aren't those robes heavy?"
"They're not too bad, but it wasn't exactly something I wanted to wear. You know I avoid wearing my Exalt robes unless I have to."
Robin giggled slightly, causing Lissa to shift in the front row and Frederick to cough lightly from his place behind Chrom. Blushing at having been caught, the tactician glanced back down at the floor before looking back up to Chrom considering something as the priest continued to drone on.
Seeing his wife looking at him questioningly, the Exalt gave her a mischevious look before mouthing, "Want to get out of here?"
Robin hesitated, before grinning back and replying, "Why didn't you think of that in the first place?"
"You're the tactician, shouldn't you have all our escape plans?"
"You're right, you're right. If we make a break for it though we have to be prepared for all the Shepherds to stop us."
Glancing over at the Shepherds, Chrom nodded slightly before asking, "So what's our battle plan, Robin? Everyone's bound to have some weapons on them; even if this is a vow renewal they know they have to be ready in case something DOES happen."
"Simple," she smirked. "You throw your Exalt cape on Frederick, I throw my boquet at Lissa, and we fight our way out."
Chrom nodded again, before his eyebrows furrowed and he asked, "I have Falchion with me, but you didn't bring anything, did you?"
"What, you think I can't grab Frederick's sword on our way out?"
"Fair enough. On three?"
Robin nodded, before her eyes lit up and she whispered, "Three!"
Whirling around, Chrom ripped off his cape and threw it over Frederick as Robin leapt forward and drew the knight's sword. As the hall erupted into confusion and the other Shepherd's stood up, Lissa yelled, "What are you DOING!?"
Flying forward, Robin crashed into Sully and Virion as Chrom lunged towards Stahl and Gaius, knocking them over. As chaos ensued, Chrom pushed past Miriel and Olivia before turning around.
"Come on!" Chrom called, reaching out to Robin. With a grin, the tactician leapt over the confused Shepherds and grabbed Chrom's hand, allowing him to pull her towards the doors; as the two made a break through the crowd, Frederick yelled, "Milord! Guards, don't let them leave!"
Facing the oncoming barricade of guards, Chrom quickly disarmed those approaching and the couple leapt over the last of the guards before escaping through the hall doors. As Frederick and Lissa quickly ran to each other and began trying to sort things out, the older Lucina leaned over and said to Morgan, "Should've seen that one coming, huh?"
Morgan shrugged, before glancing over at the toddler by his side; little Lucina stood with a smile on her face, before looking up at her brother and saying happily, "Father and Mother are the best, aren't they?"
Smiling back, Morgan leaned down and hugged her before telling her, "Yes, yes they are."
As Chrom and Robin stumbled up their hill, the tactician laughed breathlessly before saying, "I can't….believe we made it….that was so much fun! We should renew our vows more often!"
Chrom snickered as he collapsed in the grass; lying down, he closed his eyes and replied, "Hey, it was BECAUSE we didn't want to do that we ran off. Who needs all that fancy stuff anyways?"
Smiling fondly at her husband, Robin looked back at the castle in the distance and said, "Not you and me-but I did like the way you looked at me when I entered the room."
Before Chrom could reply, the tactician pounced on his with a grin; the Exalt grunted as she landed on top of him, trapping him between her arms and she pinned him to the ground. Giggling at the expression on her husband's face, Robin leaned forward until her nose touched his.
"Do you remember," she began, "our first kiss?"
"How could I not?" Chrom chuckled. Reaching up to brush back a stray hair, the Exalt reflected on the memory before lightly poking Robin's cheek as he continued, "I had to TELL you to kiss me, didn't I?"
At his smirk, Robin blushed before pouting, "What was I supposed to do, just jump you?"
"You certainly don't seem to have a problem with it now," Chrom pointed out, earning himself a smack. Dodging Robin's next hit, the young lord grabbed his wife by the shoulders and rolled over until they were both on the grass. Holding her close, he examined her closely, taking in the freckles and her expressive eyes as she looked back at him curiously.
Drawing her into a hug, the Exalt closed his eyes before expelling a sigh of happiness. Burying his face into her hair, Chrom whispered, "Promise me something?"
"Promise you won't leave me again. I don't think I could do this all again a second time."
Robin giggled, before snuggling closer and murmuring, "Liar. You'd search the world a thousand times for me, wouldn't you?"
Chrom smiled, before replying, "Yeah, you're right; I can't help it. How can I possibly just let someone as amazing as you go?"
Pulling back, Robin propped herself up on one elbow before looking at her husband fondly. Stroking his hair, the tactician leaned forward to kiss him before pressing her forehead against his.
Sweetly, Robin whispered, "I promise to stay-I love you, Chrom."
"I love you too, Robin."
"I promise….we'll become something amazing.
Okay you guys...It's finished...my magnum opus, my mona lisa, my...I don't know. But I do know one thing: You guys. Are the BEST. Seriously. You guys, my readers, my wonderful-WONDERFUL readers...are the best. I have failed you in how infrequently I updated. For various reasons I had trouble writing and keeping up to date with this story (and by various reasons, I mostly mean school caught up to me XD) but you guys kept reading and reviewing and reminding me to return to this and not let you guys down!
I really hope that this last chapter was one that you guys enjoyed, and that it was really worth the wait. As much as I didn't want to say goodbye to these characters, I felt as though I needed to give them this tribute as I went into playing Fire Emblem Fates.
And as for Fates...I have already played both Birthright and Conquest, and am now working towards the end of Revelations...I want to write for this story too, but I'm still unsure so no promises. I AM however working on a Skyward Sword story (FINALLY my first ever Legend of Zelda story) so please check it out when it comes up if you like the series or are just curious!
I am forever grateful for all you guys, and thank you once again for everything!