Happy thanksgiving! This is a present to all my readers.

Thank you all for taking the time to read my works; it really means a lot to me.


Say'ri's rebel cell, with the help of Chrom and the Shepherds, finally made a significant victory over the Valmese imperial forces, and to Robin's disapproval they decided to celebrate with a great feast. The tactician decided that if no-one else was going to, he had to keep watch on the outer perimeter.

After two hours of peace, Robin began to bore and tire, and began to rely on his magic to keep him awake.

"It may not be healthy, but it's efficient," he thought allowed after muttering a few incantations.

"What is?" came the voice of Lon'qu, who suddenly came into view.

"My body is exhausted, so I'm keeping myself awake with my magic. How long have you been here?" the tactician asked the swordmaster.

"I got here about fifteen minutes after you did. You were so focused on what was going on outside the fort that you never bothered to look within," the black-haired man shrugged, "don't worry, though, wherever you are not looking, I am keeping watch."

"Glad to hear it," Robin sighed, "but something tells me that's not why you're here."

"You have good instincts, as always. I am here to help, but that desire is partially motivated by… well… must I say it?"

"Oh. Was Say'ri being a little forward? I'm sure she saw how well you were fighting and–"

"No, she did thank me, but our conversation was brief,"

I wonder why… Robin thought.

"It was Lucina who could not stop pestering me. She notices my discomfort, but she never seems to understand it," Lon'qu finished.

"She is rather naïve… but I'm sure she has the best of intentions."

"Perhaps. But I still–"

"Robin? Lon'qu? I've been looking for you! What are you doing out here? You deserve to celebrate our victory as much as everyone else," Lucina appeared, causing the swordmaster to stiffen.

"Lucina, you of all people should understand the need to stay alert," Robin tried to defend his comrade.

"…Yes. Now please leave." the swordmaster took a few steps back and gripped his sword.

"Father taught me that in order to keep a high morale, we need to take time to socialize with one another and relax, forgetting about the troubles of the world.

Chrom, I swear to Naga, if we survive this war I'm going to kill you for raising her this way, Lon'qu groaned inwardly.

"When we are not at war with a force that surrounds us on all sides, I would be inclined to agree. But right now, I'm concerned that the Valmese might be planning a surprise counterattack on this fortress in an attempt to reclaim it," Robin said.

"I suppose you're right. Say, three sets of eyes is better than two, right?"

"Damn it all," Lon'qu muttered under his breath.

"May I stay and help?" Lucina finished.

"Your reason is logical. Lon'qu, what do you think?" Robin prayed inwardly he'd say no.

"Help, if that is what you want to do. Just stay away from me," came the swordsman's response. Lucina reacted with a mixture of confusion and sorrow.

"It would be more efficient if we all kept a good distance from each other so as to cover more ground," Robin added, trying to soften the blow. Lucina's expression brightened and the three went their separate ways.

For all of five minutes.

Lucina couldn't help but re-approach Robin and question him.

"Robin, do you have any idea why Lon'qu has such an aversion to me?"

"It's not just you; women are anathema to him. I don't quite understand why that is so, but I can tell it stems from deeply-embedded trauma."

"If that is that case, I am determined to understand why. For the sake of his morale, I feel I must try to get through to him," Lucina said and ran off.

"Lucina! Wait!" Robin shouted, his attempt ultimately futile, "damn, she must have been spending a lot of time with my daughter to be this concerned about morale…"


"Lon'qu! I insist on speaking with you!" Lucina approached.

"Go away," Lon'qu responded absently, focusing on the terrain.

"Why do you hate women so? Robin suspects it stems from trauma."

"I said, go away."

"I know something of trauma myself. My dreams are still plagued by thoughts of my own time… everything burning at the hands of Grima and his underlings."

"…"

"Please, for your own sake, talk to me!"

"'For my own sake'? How would opening up to you benefit me? What do I have to gain?" Lon'qu began to grow angry.

"Because I was just like you at first! I wouldn't open up about anything unless I absolutely had to! It wasn't until I actually started talking about my problems that I was able to function in spite of them! I see that you are plagued by your past; your trauma will always get in your way unless you get it out of your system!" Lucina shouted.

"…Fine. As you know, I was born and raised in Chon'sin. One day, I met a woman named Ke'ri. She was an ordinary village girl who lived on the outskirts of town. We became friends despite the fact that I was an impoverished youth from the slums. In time, love flowered between us. But then…" Lon'qu shuttered, memories of his past rampaging through his mind like a demon, "I am sorry. This is difficult for me, as I'm sure you understand. One day we went to the fields to picnic and spend time by the river. ...The bandits were so fast… so many…"

"Lon'qu…"

"I fought them… with all my strength I fought them… but still…" the swordmaster closed his eyes, trying to hold back his tears, "A woman died because of my failings. I would not let it happen again. I will not."

"…"

"That is why I stay away from women. That is why I want women to stay away from me." Lon'qu had hoped this story would get her to leave him alone, but to his dismay it had the opposite effect – Lucina hugged him and would not let go. Lon'qu tried to break free from the embrace, but the woman was stronger.

How is she stronger than me! She beat me in three moves – even though I thought her a man – and now I can't even escape her embrace. It must be her holy blood. Now I'm really going to kill Chrom, Lon'qu's eyes twitched as he growled internally.

"I'm so sorry; that must have been absolutely terrible. But that is no reason to stay away from women! Let me help. As I'm sure you've noticed I'm strong enough to take care of myself, so you won't have to worry about failing to protect me," Lucina said, trying to cloak her sadness with a façade of strength.

"I'm… not… comfortable…"

"I'll do most of the talking until you are ready."

"Lucina… seriously…"

"Let me help–"

"You can help by not holding on so tight! I can't breathe!"

"Oh, heh, sorry," Lucina blushed and chuckled as she let him go.

"OK, fine. I will… try to do as you say."

"Guys, I think I see something!" Robin shouted out from another corner of the fort, but neither Lon'qu nor Lucina were paying attention.

"Great, just stand by me, and over time I'm sure you will grow more comfortable," the blue-haired princess said.

"Guys?"

"…Always."

"GUYS!" Robin's magically-enhanced scream was heard by both the army and the rebels, so everyone went to arms.

"A-Ah! The enemy! Let's go, Lon'qu! Don't lag behind!" Lucina drew her sword and ran to the gate.

"What! W-wait up!" Lon'qu stuttered as he drew his and tried to catch up.


That's all for that! Author's notes are on my blog (the link to which is on my profile page).