Lucina stood outside the medical tent, debating whether or not she should go in. She needed to talk, and she knew for a fact that the person she needed to talk to was currently inside. Yet she found herself unable to move, simply standing there in place as the wind blew gently against her. It should be simple: go in, ask a few questions, get the answers, and be done with it.
If only it were that simple.
What am I doing? This is ridiculous, she chided herself, I'm blowing this whole thing out of proportion. What if I ask the wrong question, and then rumors star spreading around the camp? We finally catch a break in this campaign, I don't want to bring in unnecessary turmoil within our ranks now. I can't do that to Robin.
Robin... The image of the white haired tactician flashed in her mind again.
There it was again; ever since Robin had recovered from his brush with death, her thoughts would constantly turn to him one way or another. Memories she had of spending time with him, past conversations. Their sparring session, their argument, the night that she stood by his cot when it seemed like he was about to die. She couldn't stop thinking about him; and all because—
No! She shook her head, I don't know that. It's nothing but a thought I had. It's ridiculous, it's foolish, right? ...right?
Gods, how could she even consider something like that? It wasn't just ridiculous, it was borderline childish! She was a grown woman, one currently on a mission to save her father and the world itself. She didn't have time to be thinking whether or not she...she...
Damn it, why is this so vexing?! I have never felt like this before, so there is a good chance that this is all in my head. I'm just be confusing it with something else; I must be confusing it with something else. Admiration, that must be what it is. I admire Robin and his qualities as a person. His dedication, his patience, his selflessness, his kindness, everything that makes him such a wonderful—NO!
She took a deep breath, clearing her head once more. If she was going to clear this up and dispel any doubts, then she needed answers; and there was only one person whom she was 100% certain that she could trust with this information. With that, she walked in.
"Well, everything seems to be in order!" Lissa smiles as she moved her staff from the front of Sumia's stomach, "the baby seems to be developing according to schedule and there doesn't seem to be any abnormalities."
"Thank goodness," Sumia let out a sigh of relief while gently patting the small bump beginning to grow.
"That being said, I don't think I need to tell you that from now on you are to remain grounded and not participate in any more battles for the rest of the campaign, right?"
The queen couldn't help but frown slightly, "are you sure there is no way—?"
"Absolutely not!" the blonde cleric crossed her arms, "no way Sumia! You have been lucky so far, but we are not pushing it any further. Wanting to ride a pegasus is bad enough, but wanting to ride one into battle where a stay arrow could easily hit you is just dumb. Therefore, you are not to go anywhere near the battlefield from here on out; I'm ordering you as both your cleric and your sister-in-law."
Sumia didn't say anything, but it was clear that she was not happy with the order.
"Look, if you are that desperate to help, us healers are going to need all the helping hands we can get. I wouldn't recommend you using a healing staff seeing how far in you already are, but you can always assist me whenever I treat the wounded."
"I suppose," Sumia looked up and just noticed her daughter standing at the tent's entrance, "Lucina?"
Lissa turned around and smiled, "oh hey Lucy! What's up?"
"Mother, Aunt Lissa," Lucina bowed slightly, "forgive me, I came in to talk to you, but I see that now is perhaps not the best time."
"Nonsense, we are all done here. Come in, come in," Lissa gestured towards them, "tell us what's on your mind."
"Actually aunt Lissa, this is a rather...private matter. One that I wish to discuss with mother...alone," Lucina muttered slightly embarrassed.
"Aww come on!"
"You heard her Lissa; now, if you would excuse us," the queen said patiently while gesturing towards the entrance.
"Ugh, fine," Lissa puffed her cheeks annoyed before leaving them alone.
"Now then honey," Sumia patted the cot and turned to face her daughter once she sat down, "what is it that you want to tell me?"
The princess didn't answer, fidgeting nervously in her spot.
"How are you feeling mother?" she asked suddenly, "is everything all right? Did aunt Lissa find anything out of the ordinary?"
"Everything is fine dear," she responded, "I have recently began feeling morning sickness, but it's no worse than when I had you; as for the check up, Lissa said that the baby is growing just fine and right on schedule. Now—"
"What about father? Has he been sleeping and eating well?"
"Your father has been sleeping much better ever since we've left Chon'sin; and his eating habits remain the same as always."
"Have you heard any news from Ylisse? How are grandmother and grandfather?"
"Lucina," Sumia placed her hand over her daughter's, "is this really wanted to ask me? Because the way you asked Lissa for privacy made it sound like it was something important."
"Honey listen to me. If you wish to continue asking me these questions, then I will gladly answer them. I am more than happy to just spend more time with you, even if it's just the two of us having small talk while sitting on a medical cot; but I want you to know that you can talk to me about more serious or personal issues. You can confide in me anything you want dear, I promise."
"Right...thank you mother."
"Now then, what do you want to talk about?"
Lucina sat quietly next to the pegasus rider, figuring out the best way to ask what she had in mind.
"Mother...how did you know...that you loved father?"
Sumia blinked surprised, "oh my. I must say, I was...not expecting that to be what you wanted to talk about."
Lucina felt her face burning up in embarrassment, something which did not escape Sumia.
Clearing her throat and sitting up straight she continued, "but I have no problems talking about that if it's what you really want."
The queen though for a moment, "I suppose it first started when we first met as children; not the love part, that wouldn't come until much later. I am a bit ashamed to admit that, as a child, I found your father to be...unappealing, to put it lightly. Even back then I was looking for my knight in shining armor, and Chrom did not fit the part; though to be fair, that might have been because of all the mud and sweat that he was covered in when we were introduced."
"See, your father is not like other nobles in Ylisse. They use flowery words and under the table dealing in order to get what they want, while Chrom is blunt and direct. They take up fencing with wooden swords as a hobby, he had a knight of the Ylissean army train him in real combat with real steel. Most noble children rarely leave the inner parts of the capital, meanwhile your father would often visit the outer districts—and sometimes even the slums—to spend time with the friends he had made there. He was, and I guess still is if we are being honest, considered an odd one amongst nobles, so it won't surprise you to know that he wasn't exactly the most popular amongst the noble houses of Ylisse. In fact, aside from Maribelle, Sully, and myself, your father didn't have any other friends of noble status."
"And yet there despite his odd behavior—or perhaps because of it—I found myself intrigued by him. It wasn't just that he didn't act or behave like most nobles, it was that he disregarded the concept of nobles and stations to begin with. He didn't care where you came from or who your family was, he simply judged people based on their character and their actions, and then decided based on that whether or not he wanted to continue associating with them; because of this, he understood the plight of the citizens of Ylissean in a way that most nobles didn't. He wanted to help them, and he knew that staying behind castle walls to live a life of leisure was not going to help anyone; that's why he started the Shepheards, so that he could experience what his people were going through first hand and then help them to the best of his abilities."
"This all came to a head on his 18th birthday, when he was supposed to take the crown from his sister and become the next Exalt. Instead, he announced that he would be stepping down and allowing her to continue as Exalt while he continued to lead the Shepheards. His announcement surprised everyone, myself included. Later that night, after a number of guests had already left, I found him sitting alone in the castle's gardens. Curious, I asked him why he had turned down his right as the next Exalt, why he essentially gave up the most powerful position in the entire kingdom. Do you know what he told me?"
The princess shook her head.
"He said that he knew that had he taken the throne from Emmeryn, he would have been a terrible exalt. Contrary to what most people think of him, your father is no hot-headed simpleton. He can actually keep a level head most of the time, and he is surprisingly insightful when it comes to himself; and back then it was no different. He felt that he wasn't ready, that it wasn't his time yet. After all, he had spent most of his time fighting off bandits and solving problems with his sword. He knew that he would be a terrible choice for an exalt during a time when tensions between Ylisse and Plegia were still high. If he had taken the throne back then, he would have caved under the mounting pressure and probably become even worse than his late father."
"What?!" Lucina reeled back, not believing what she had just heard, "Mother, how could you even suggest that?! Father would never do that!"
"I know; which is what I told him when he told me the same thing that night," she responded somberly.
"Your father is a wonderful man Lucina, but he is far from perfect; and no one understands that better than himself. He told me that while he could easily make friends with anyone, at the same time he felt like he didn't really belong anywhere. He was too brutish and direct when compared to other nobles, but at the same time he was too well versed and refined compared to common citizens. He knew that in order work for the benefit of both groups, to become the bridge between them, he needed to be aware of what kind of person he was, and what kind of person he wanted to be. If he simply tried to please the needs of one group over the other, it would lead to a schism in Yliseean society; but at the same time, he knew that the Exalt was at the end of the day only human, and that they couldn't give everyone what they wanted always. He believed that he wasn't ready for that, but that his sister was. So he decided to let her keep the position while he grew as a leader, but more importantly as a person."
"I suppose it was at that moment that I started seeing your father in another light. He had always seemed so brash and sure of himself—to the point where he would often come as boastful—and there he was being so open and even vulnerable. He showed to me that he was someone with the fears and insecurities, and he did so without even trying to make excuses for them or cover them up. He seemed more at ease, more liberated, at being able to be so open and honest with someone else. More importantly, he was determined to continue on the course that he had chosen, even if most people around him were against it, because he felt that it was not only the right choice but also the best choice for him; and I came to admire him for that. So much so that I decided to follow his footsteps and decided to become a pegasus rider despite that fact that everyone, my family included, thought I was not suited for it; but I persevered and managed to graduate as one of the top recruits at the academy, at which point your father personally asked me if I wanted to join the Shepheards and fight for the safety of Ylisse and its people."
She looked to the side wistfully, "those early days with the Shepheards were not easy. We were a very small group, yet your father kept on taking jobs all over the kingdom. It was not uncommon for us to have to travel to the borders at one end of the land, only to be called off to the other end once we returned to the capital. Spending the days marching and fighting, and spending the nights sleeping in makeshift camps while warding off bears. Our bodies ached so much from the fatigue that we would get concerned on days where they didn't hurt. I would be lying if I didn't say that there were times when I felt like quitting and returning to a much easier life as just another noble woman. Yet despite all of the hardships we went through, there was an underlying feeling that we were doing the right thing, that in exchange for our own discomfort we were making the lives of so many people so much better; and no one embodied that feeling better than your father. He would work harder than everyone else, often forgoing eating and sleeping until he physically couldn't go any further without collapsing. In fact, while he will never admit it himself, there were times when he was just as bad—if not worse—as Robin when it came to work, which might explain why he feels so guilty whenever he sees him push himself."
Lucina felt her cheeks grow slightly hot upon Robin being mentioned, but didn't say anything.
"Even then my feelings for your father were not completely clear; half the time I couldn't tell if what I was feeling was admiration or concern or even exasperation. He was kind and considerate towards others, but foolish and reckless when it came to himself. It very well may be that the reason why I started spending more and more time with him was because I was trying to make sense of how I felt about him. Then it was because I wanted to make sure that he started taking care of himself better; and then it was because I simply wanted to by his side."
She shook her head, "sorry, I've been rambling for a while now and I still haven't given you a straight answer. I guess, at the end of the day, the moment I realized that I loved your father was when I realized that I wanted to be more than just a comrade whom he could rely on. I wanted to be there for him beyond just the battlefield or the barracks; and, on a more selfish note, I wanted him to do the same with me. I found myself constantly thinking about him, even when I tried not to. For the first time in my life, the knight in shining armor that I had always dreamed of meeting one day had a face; and that face was your father's."
"I told myself that I was letting my imagination blow everything out of proportion, that I could ruin the relationship we already had with such childish thoughts. It didn't help that I saw first hand what happened to my best friend who also shared those feelings towards them and, eventually, confessed only to have them be rejected. Because of all of that, I was more than ready to push my feelings down and simply remain a good friend and stalwart comrade to your father; which is why it took me a moment to realize what was happening when your father confessed his feelings towards me," she laughed.
Lucina couldn't help but smile at her mother's myrrh.
Once she stopped, the pegasus knight turned to face her daughter, "so, does that answer your question dear?"
"It does; thank you mother," she nodded before getting up, "I'll call Aunt Lissa back so that she may finish with her check up. If you'd excuse me."
"Lucina wait," she took her hand gently, "may I say one last thing?"
"Don't make the same mistake I did. I know these feelings may be confusing, especially when it's the first time you are experiencing them; but denying them without fully considering if they are real or not is the worst thing you can do."
Lucina felt her face grow hot, "I-I wasn't...t-that is...I'm n-not..."
Sumia simply smiled and patter her hand before letting go, "I know dear. I'm just giving you some sound advice."
"...thank you, mother," with a final hug Lucina made her way out of the tent. However, she didn't make it far before she sat down on top of a nearby crate and buried her face in her hands.
She knew that it was pointless to dwell on it any longer. She knew the truth. She knew it the moment her mother had started explain her feelings towards her father; no, she had known even before that, but she was too afraid to even consider it true, let along come to terms with it. Now, however, she couldn't avoid the truth anymore.
She lifted her head and stared off into the distance, "I...love...Robin..."
The moment she said that aloud, she was overcome with a rush of so many emotions at the same time; unfortunately, most of them were not good ones.
What does it matter if I accept my feelings or not? I came here with a clear goal in mind: to prevent father's death and save the future from destruction. I have come so far, and yet my goal is even farther still. What right do I have to put my own desires over the task that was given to me?
Well either way, that is all mute as I don't see someone like him feeling the same way about me...
This can't be happening.
Robin sat on his cot, head in his hands while gritting his teeth as he had been doing for several hours. He did not get a wink of sleep during the night, mainly because his mind was a whirlwind of thoughts and emotions that would not settle down no matter how much he tried; instead, his night had been spent tossing in his cot, pacing up and down his tent, reading book after book until his eyes burned. In the end, despite doing all of that and more, he was right back where he had started, with the same thought looming over him and the same response from his part.
I can't be in love with Lucina.
No matter how much he tried to reason or work around it, his mind always found a way to circle back to the possibility that he had fallen for the princess. That for the first time in his life, he was actually feeling genuine, romantic love towards someone.
And it terrified him beyond words.
This is wrong...this shouldn't be happening...how could I have let something like this happen? There has to be some other explanation; this has to be something else. He desperately wracked his brain in search for any other explanation, but he kept coming up short.
No, I can't be rushing to conclusions just yet. It's still uncertain as to...well, what "this" is exactly. How do I even know if this is love? As far as I can tell, I have never experienced love before; and I'm not about to make the biggest mistake in my life on an uncertainty.
Did he care for Lucina? Of course he did. Just like he cared for Chrom, or Lissa, or Frederick, or any of the other Shepheards. They were the closest thing he had to a family, and he cared for their well-being just as any real family would. His feelings for Lucina—whatever they may be—were on the same line, right?
For some reason he didn't really believe himself.
I'm getting nowhere like this; I need to talk to someone.
Getting up from his cot he walked out his tent and towards the camps makeshift training ground, certain that he would find whom he was looking for there. After walking for a few minutes, he reached his destination; and fortunately, the person he was looking for was there.
"Aaaaand, vole!" Virion let go of the bowstring, causing the arrow to whizz through the air until it hit the bullseye set up several meters away, "a perfect shot, as always. Such a pity that no one else was here to witness such brilliance."
"I wouldn't be so sure of that."
The archer turned, his face lighting up upon seeing the white haired man, "Robin! So good to see you my friend. Could it be that you were drawn in by the immaculate display of marksmanship from moi, the archest of archers? Flattered as I may be, I do believe it would be wise for you to be resting and conserving your strength for out the upcoming battle."
"Considering I managed to withstand that winded barrage from you without falling over, I think I'm fine," he smirked.
"Ho ho! I see your wit is as sharp as ever. If that is the case, then perhaps I should reconsider my plan to let you win a couple of chess matches out of pity."
"Appreciate the sentiment, would not appreciate the action," Robin's smirk disappeared, "but in all seriousness, I came here because I need some advice."
"Oh? Is that right? Well then, by all means my friend."
"...this stays between us, right?"
"If that is what you wish, then of course. You have my word that I, Virion, shall not divulge your secret to another soul, not even my family."
"Give me a minute, I'm trying to figure out how to word this properly," Robin muttered.
Virion simply nodded.
After a few more minutes Robin looked at Virion, "you have quite the reputation as a philanderer, shamelessly flirting and declaring your affection to any and every woman who crossed your path in the past."
"I thought you said you were trying to figure out how to word your question properly."
"You do not mince words, do you?"
"As I was saying, you constantly told women that you "loved" them, even woman that you only just met. For the longest time I thought—and I say this as your friend—that you didn't know what the meaning of the word "love" was; or at the very least not the way most people would describe it."
"Are we going to reach your question any time soon, or should I grab a chair for the next barrage of thinly veiled insults to my character?" the archer asked slightly annoyed.
Robin paused for a second, thinking carefully what to say next, "Virion...how did you know that you loved...no, no, how did you know you were IN LOVE with Cherche?"
"Is that all? Seriously Robin, you could have just asked that from the start without all that build up," he chuckled slightly amused (though still a little irked).
"I will admit that I am a romantic at heart. I truly believe that each and every woman is beautiful in their own right, a unique flower in a garden filled with lovely fauna as far as the eye can see. Be it a rose, a violet, or a carnation, every flower is beautiful in its own right; and, in that same regard, every woman is beautiful in their own way. So can one really blame a hopeless romantic like myself for falling for every lovely lady that crosses his path?"
"Yet with Cherche it was...different. Granted, when she was first assigned as my vassal when I was but a young boy I told her that she was as lovely as tulip illuminated by a full moon in a summer's eve; and in return she simply smiled and said that perhaps her wyvern would also enjoy such a long soliloquy of hot air. That pretty much summarized perfectly our relationship for the next 10 years. Despite the constant threats by way of wyvern, I simply could not stop myself from attempting to woo Cherche at every chance I got. I did not think too much of it at first; after all, Cherche was, in my eyes, another beautiful woman who had caught my attention and I simply saw fit to let her know as much."
"That all changed the day Walhart attacked Rossanne."
He paused for a second, his face showing visible pain before continuing, "it became clear soon enough that Rossanne's forces could not stand up against Walhart and his men. The initial charge was decimated, and our defenses could do nothing but momentarily stall while they were chipped away. I tried to offer myself up in exchange for my men's safety, but unfortunately their loyalty to Rossane and my family name was ingrained into their very beings and they refused to let me through. With every passing day, more and more of my men died, all in my name. I knew that I had to leave Rossanne, essentially turn myself into a craven in the eyes of my people, in order for my men to stop fighting while I looked for allies off of Valm."
"The only one who knew of this plan of Cherche, and with her help I was able to sneak aboard a ship that would smuggle me across the ocean and towards Ylisse; however, right as we were about to set sail, a group of assassins from Valm ambushed us. We were able to deal with them, but more soldiers were on their way due to the commotion. Cherche order the ship's captain to take off with me on it. I begged her to come with me, or at the very least for her and Minerva to catch up with us once we set sail. She said that she couldn't do that, not until my safety was ensured. I told her that the risk was too great, that I didn't want her to risk her life for me. She then smiled, placed her hand on my cheek and said, "to me, your life is more important than anything else"; and then she knocked me out with a blow to the head."
"I woke up later that day, already at sea, and with no sign of Cherche around; and while I wanted nothing more than to turn the ship around back to Valm, I knew that that would accomplish nothing but throw away the sacrifice of countless men and women that died for me. So, with a heavy heart, I continued forward, with the goal of reaching the Kindom of Ylisse and getting help to someday bring down the Conqueror."
"While I was doing that, Cherche's words rang in my head over and over again. That my life was the most important thing to her. I couldn't help but wonder: did she say that simply as my vassal raised to prioritize my family's name over her own life, or did she mean it as something more? Women had professed me their love before, but, while this might be hard to believe, most of them were only interested in marrying into my family wealth and name—at least back when that still meant something. Yet when Cherche said that to me it felt...it felt genuine; actually no, that's not entirely correct. Truth is, I WANTED it to be genuine, for it to mean more than just the words of a vassal loyal to my family's name. For two longs years, I pondered and pondered many a sleepless night, wondering if I had lost my closest friend and...something more."
"Then, about a year ago, I received the surprise of a lifetime: a beautiful wyvern rider landing on the docks of Ylissea looking for moi."
"The moment I laid eyes on her again, seeing her alive and I felt my heart skip a beat, something that I had never experienced with any other woman before. I walked up to her, she smiled at me and said, "Lord Virion. I see that you somehow managed to stay alive without me having to hold your hand." Those words, sharper than any dagger, yet more melodious than the most perfect composition, were enough for me to throw away my pride and fall to my knees and cry; not tears of pain, but rather tears of sheer joy and relief."
"And at that moment, I simply knew."
"Of course, me coming to terms with my feelings meant nothing if she did not reciprocated them. Sure, as her lord I could have easily commanded her to accept my proposal and be my bride, but only a savage man without a shred of morality would do something so vile. No, I refused to even consider the possibility of asking for her hand in marriage unless there was a chance that she felt the same way about me as I did towards her. It was a time of great personal turmoil for me, as I desperately sought for some sort of sign, anything to confirm my hopes. Of course, she did not make it easy for me. One moment she told me that I shouldn't fall into despair and look forward to tomorrow with her by my side, the next she was telling me, with the fall of Rossane and my house, she was no longer bound to me by duty and had no need to worry about my well being above her own. Looking back now, I can't help but think that perhaps she knew of my feelings towards her, and was toying with me as punishment for all...escapes of love shall we call them."
"Eventually, I realized that I was getting nowhere with the way I approached the situation; not because Cherche wasn't catching on to my subtle hints and signals. She is much more clever than even I at times, so I have no doubt she figured it out faster than even I estimate. No, she wasn't going to be lead on by hints and flimsy promises, not when it came to something as life changing as this. Knowing this, I realized that beating around the bush would not yield me and answer. I had to be direct, and more importantly I had to be honest. I gathered my courage, and I told her exactly how I felt. No long sonnets, no flowery praises, and no promises of a life of luxury and riches if she married me. I simply told her that I loved her, that I had loved her for a long time, and that I wanted nothing more than for her to stand by me not as my vassal, but as my beloved; and she said yes."
The noble cleared his throat, "apologies, I seem to have gone in a bit of a tangent there. If there is anything to take from my story, it is this my friend: it matters not when I fell for Cherche, be it the night she was willing to give her life for me, the day she returned by my side, or perhaps some time after. For all I know it may have even been before that, sometime during her years of service to my house. In the end, it matters not. What matters, to me at least, was the day I decided to confront my feelings and, more importantly, told Cherche how I felt for her. It doesn't matter when I came to the realization, or even what lead up to it, and trying to pinpoint and understand it is just stalling because you are afraid of not only coming to terms with the truth, but that your feeling will not be reciprocated."
Robin coughed nervously, "I wasn't...I'm not asking for myself."
Virion smiled, "of course. Just remember this advice from the archest of archers: the shots that you always miss," he pulled back his bow, letting lose another arrow that split the one lodged in the bullseye in half, "are the ones you never take."
"...I'll keep that in mind. Thank you, Virion."
"Always a pleasure my friend."
With that Robin left the archer alone to continue with his practice, having much to think about; or at least, that was what he tried telling himself. Truth was, there was nothing else to think about, his mind being quite clear and focused after his talk with Virion.
He closed his eyes and sighed deeply, "I...love...Lucina..."
Saying those words felt like a burden had been lifted off him, while simultaneously his chest tightened and his mind began running at full speed.
Gods...now what? Do I really just...tell her how I feel?
She is a princess of Ylisse, and I'm just an amnesiac tactician without nothing to his name.
She is tasked with saving her future, the one that clearly I could not protect myself.
...what if she doesn't feel the same way?
Why would she?
He shook his head, "No. I'm letting my fear and self doubt get to me, just like Virion said. I have...I have to take the chance. Perhaps she doesn't feel the same way I do—"
"-even so, I know how I feel; and I can't just keep it bottled up."
He knew what he had to do.
The princess turned around to see Robin standing before her.
"Robin? Fancy meeting you here."
Does he look...nervous?
"Actually I followed you."
Why did I say it like that?!
You will fail.
"I, er..." he cleared his throat, trying desperately to recover his composure, "I wanted to give you these," he pulled out a small bouquet of flowers he has assembled before looking for the princess.
"Oh Robin! You picked them for me?" she took the flowers for him, bringing them up for a quick whiff, "they are absolutely beautiful; and they smell heavenly!"
Seeing her face light up and glow with joy, Robin felt his heart skip a beat as he smiled at her, "I'm glad you liked them."
He brought them just for me? W...Why? What should I say?
"We have no flowers in my world. The whole land in barren," she regretted saying that immediately as the smile dropped from Robin's face.
Why did I say that?!
"I'm sorry. I should have thought—"
"No! No! I shouldn't have said that! I...I just..."
Change the subject. Change the subject!
"Enough about that. Tell me, what are we celebrating Robin?"
"Nothing, really. I just—"
"—thought you could use some cheer."
Hearing him say that made her smile, looking down at the flowers in her hand, "you really shouldn't have."
"It's no trouble."
Now, I have to tell her now.
He swallowed, "Lucina."
She looked up, "yes."
She felt her heart beat faster.
Could it be?
She will reject you.
Why would she ever say yes to you?
Why would anyone say yes to you?
"You are...you're a dear friend; and I want to do anything I can to help."
She felt her hopes dashed and her heart shatter. For a moment, she thought—
No, that was but wishful thinking.
Robin felt a pit in his stomach, and an emptiness in his chest.
What am I doing? What was I thinking?
You were a fool for thinking that you two could ever be together. Not telling her was the smartest thing you've ever done. As if she would ever say yes to such a pathetic, cowardly, insignificant worm as yourself.
"No," he said out loud.
"Robin? Is everything all right?"
"Actually I'm not being entirely honest."
What are you doing?!
"You ARE dear to me, of course, and the daughter of a true friend; but..."
Stop it you fool!
"But...?" she clutched the flowers tightly, daring to hope once more.
"But you are more than that, much more!"
Stop this at once!
"I didn't pick that bouquet to cheer you up—"
"I did it because—"
"BECAUSE IM IN LOVE WITH YOU!"
Pushing though the voice in his head, Robin found himself yelling the last part, followed by absolute silence as the two of them simply stared at each other.
"W-What?" Lucina asked quietly, afraid that perhaps she had misheard or that this was all but a dream.
"Lucina...I've fallen helplessly in love with you! I tried not to, but I could help it!"
She blinked. She felt her breath fall short. She felt her grip tighten on the flower stems so had that they actually pricked through her gloves.
This isn't a dream. This is real.
The tactician step forward, his mind clear to the point where he suddenly couldn't stop talking, "We've been through so much, and I know many trials still await us... But no matter what happened or is yet to come, my feelings cannot change! I love you, Lucina. With all my heart."
He stopped talking, only to notice that he was currently right in front of her. The princess didn't say anything, her gaze never leaving his while her cheeks flushed pink.
The princess could feel her eyes watering up, yet her face was still glowing, "I... I'm so glad you told me all this. ...Because you are in my heart as well."
Robin couldn't help but let out a choked laugh of relief, his own eyes beginning to water, "Oh, those must be the sweetest words I've ever heard!" he pulled her into his embrace, which she returned wholeheartedly, holding her tight just to make sure that she was real. That this moment was real.
"Lucina," he took her face gently so she was looking at him, tears still streaming down the both of them, "I promise you, no matter what: I will be here for you. Just as I have been there for Chrom, but even more so. Whatever road you choose to follow, I shall follow it at your side."
"And we won't rest until we reach the end! Together!"
"I love you Lucina. Now and forever."
"I love you Robin; and no matter what the future holds, I'm going to cherish every moment."
Author's note: finally. After 25 chapters and almost five years since I started, I've finally reached the moment this has all been building to. Robin and Lucina have finally, FINALLY, confessed.
And with that...I'm done.
You probably have a lot of questions, the first one probably being, "What do you mean you're done?"
I mean I'm done with the story. Figuratively, at least. Obviously there are a lot, and I mean A LOT, of loose strings. Strings that, for all intends and purposes, I should continue to work and tie up; but I'm not going to do that. Why?
Because I'm just...tired.
A lot has changed in my life in the past five years; some for the better, and some not. One of those changes affects this story (and the others) directly: to put it simply, I don't like my writing anymore. I started doing this as a way to practice my English, and it has helped a lot. But somewhere along the way, I feel like I've stagnated, stuck to my comfort zone, and haven't made much progress. And I think I managed to pinpoint why.
My writing, at least here, has gotten less creative over time.
Let's be honest here: we all know how "To Change the Past" is going to end. If you've played Awakening (and I'm assuming most of you have) you already know what's going to happen. Grima's going to come back, Robin is going to sacrifice himself to stop him, Robin gets brought back, everyone lives happily. You might say, "but wait, you could always make it different—" no. It's not that easy. Robin here has clearly been built up to put others before himself, especially those he loves. If I had him do anything else at the last second, that would just be bad writing. Maybe somebody else could pull it off, but not me.
But that's not the only problem I have with my writing. I've been avoiding this for a while, but I'm just going to come clean: I take (steal) A LOT from other works. Not just ideas, but entire scenes and dialogues copied and pasted with only the character's names changed. I've taken from everything including major Shonen stories like Naruto to independent youtubers who ACTUALLY do incredible, original, creative stories based on existing properties. I've done a lot of looking back into my work and...I'm just not proud of what I've done anymore. How could I be, most of it isn't even mine?
I know it may sound like I'm making a big deal out of nothing. A fanfic writer complaining about lack of creativity may sound ridiculous, and I do get that. But think of it this way: right now, my writing is 95% other's people work, and only 5% my own. I might as well just by transcribing the game itself at this point, and I don't want to do that. If I'm going to write fanfiction, I want it to be a more 50/50 split. Basing it on an established work, but using it more as a jumping off point rather than a road map. Take the story into a completely different direction, and thus making the characters change because of it. Looking back, that's what "The Ylissean and The Plegian" was really about (and also "Love is a Game" to a smaller degree). The problem there was that I rushed into it and didn't stop to think if I had an entire story to tie it all together (I didn't).
So yeah, that's the gist of it. This story is essentially cancelled. If anyone else wants to continue it, go ahead; but I just cant bring myself to keep going. I almost didn't even finish this chapter, and only did so because it felt wrong to leave it (and all of you) hanging where the last chapter ended. I felt I at least owed you that much.
Will I write anything else? I don't know. 2020 is almost here, and I really need a fresh start; but more importantly, I need a break. I need some time to myself, time to think what I'm going to do next. Not just here, but in general. Maybe I'll come back , maybe I wont. I might even start from scratch, leaving this account and just make another one completely fresh. I don't know, and right now I'm not going to think about it. I know this is a lot of bad news to process, and for that I'm sorry; but I need to think where I'm going and what I'm going to do in the future.
Despite all of that, I sincerely wish you all a Happy New Year. Hopefully, the future will be better for all of us.