Chapter 45: By My Side

"You're coming back with me when this is all over, right?" Morgan asked, craning her neck back to look up at the man whose lap she was sitting in. While she'd phrased it as a question, it really wasn't a question. She knew the answer she wanted, and for his sake her boyfriend better answers that way. Really, she just was looking for a confirmation.

"O-Of course," Inigo stammered, reacting well to the demand hidden in the question. He swallowed. "I was always the one of the three of us: Owain, Severa, and myself, rather, who insisted we do just that…" He rubbed the back of his neck, relaxing somewhat as Morgan smiled and patted him on the leg in response to the question.

Good. Very good.

It had been three days since they'd left the Reliquary of Worlds, having reached the border of Hoshido lands late that afternoon. While the journey had been uneventful thus far, Morgan's father had still insisted to hole up in Corrin's astral keep dimension thingy just to play things safe. Not that Morgan minded: she'd be sleeping in a tent either way. Though late as it was already, she wasn't quite ready to sleep just yet. She'd much rather spend the hours away with her boyfriend and daughter. Make up for lost time, you know?

"Though now that you bring it up, I wonder what the other two are planning. Severa really wanted to return to our original timeline, and Owain has been on the fence about the whole affair," Inigo continued, pondering this out loud. "Not to mention Ophelia will need to choose if she wants to stay here or go with them regardless of…"

Morgan lost track of the rest of what Inigo was saying as she caught a sudden blur of motion in her periphery. She reacted too slow, lunging to the side and her mouth falling open as if to shout even as the projectile impacted with her face.

The marshmallow bounced harmlessly off her cheek, mere inches from her open maw. It landed in the dirt alongside several others. Soiled and gone to waste.

"Ugggghh. Another! I'll catch this one for sure, watch!" Morgan demanded, turning her attention back to Soleil, who was already fishing out another marshmallow from the sack she'd swiped from the kitchen earlier that evening.

Never before had Morgan been more proud of her daughter. Sure, she'd only really known her for a week or two at this point. But that stunt had been the clear highlight.

Being fed a constant stream of marshmallows may or may not have contributed to this fact.

"May I ask, what brought this on?" Inigo asked, turning his gaze down to her. "I thought you knew I was planning to go back. With you, that is?"

"Well… it's… we're only a few days from reaching Hoshido, right? Once we're there, we just get Sakura and Hinoka some fancy weapons and upgrade Corrin's sword. Go to the bad guy's home-place, beat him up, and then we're done. Easy-peasy. So really, how much longer is this going to take," Morgan quickly rattled off, grinning as she finished. Yes! Nailed it. No way he could possibly-

"You're thinking about something your copy said back in that place, aren't you," Inigo said, his gaze softening as he seemed to look right through the facade Morgan had so expertly woven.

Morgan's entire stream of thought crashed and shattered into a billion tiny, itsy-bitsy flaming pieces. Hundreds dead and dying. Complete destruction.

"But- You- How did- You cheated! I told you nothing about that! You read my mind, didn't you! You've been psychic this whole time and you didn't even tell me!" Morgan stammered, poking an accusing finger into his face. Poke. Poke. Poke.

"Lucky guess. But an informed one, I'll concede. One of my copies taunted me about something similar," Inigo admitted, wincing as Morgan continued to poke him in the face several more times. This went on for a couple more seconds before Inigo then sighed wearily, whispering a soft "please, stop" before Morgan finally relented.

"Okay, okay, fine. Got me. One of my ghost-copy-fake-me-things got to me a bit I guess… was worried everyone would leave me again and… I dunno, after I acted I guess part of me still feels like I'd deserve it…" Morgan whispered, sinking her head into her shoulders like a turtle hiding in its shell. The over-sized tactician's coat she wore was pretty good at the ol' turtle maneuver too. Lots of space to hide.

"Still confused about what the big deal is about. All those lame taunts didn't hurt me," Soleil commented, glancing between both her parents in a combination of amusement and confusion.

"Soleil, not helping," Inigo sighed. He leaned down, finding Morgan sheltering in the collar of her coat and kissing her on the top of the head. "You don't have to worry. You're the only girl I want to flirt with these days, so it'd be pretty dumb of me to leave you again."

"Good," Morgan said, doing her best to shove the weight she'd been feeling off of her chest. She snapped her head back up, giving her boyfriend a quick peck on the cheek. His face flushed red, his mouth working in surprise. Heh, even now he was so bad at dealing with women that actually liked him back.


"Well if it helps, I'd be happy to go back with you too,!" Soleil beamed.

This got an uncertain look from Inigo her way, one Morgan was surprised by. Wasn't this good?

"Soleil, don't take this the wrong way, but I'm going to have to give that one a no," Inigo told her, "you have to go back to your world. It's where you belong."

"But-" both Morgan and Soleil said in unison. Then the words caught in Morgan's throat, the thought lingering in her head just long enough to consider what it really meant. If Soleil stayed with them, then that version of herself would never see her again. That sounded really sad the more she thought of it. She'd probably cry a lot if Soleil had left and never come back. So really, was it fair to other-her to steal her daughter? Especially when she didn't have Inigo either.

No, that didn't seem right. Or particularly like a nice thing to do to other-her.

"Actually, big nope from me too. You have your version of me, plus everyone else in your world who I bet miss you a whole bunch," Morgan corrected herself.

For a split second, Soleil looked like she'd argue. But then she just smiled and shrugged. "Eh, fair enough. Figured it would be worth a shot though." She chucked another marshmallow, this time Morgan deftly catching it in her open mouth.

Ah so that's what you're playing at, Morgan realized, realizing just what Soleil's agenda had been. Right out of my playbook too, You really are my kid, huh.

Inigo stared at Soleil in confusion, so intently that Morgan could practically see the gears turning in his head. Then his expression changed, becoming flat with just a bit of disbelief.

"You were trying to get out of going home to avoid your mother punishing you, weren't you," Inigo said. It wasn't a question.

Bingo! Morgan grinned, finding herself oddly proud that her boyfriend picked up on it so quickly as well.

"Her or grandfather," Soleil said, giving another nonchalant shrug. "Both of them are probably really, really mad of me. You know, for the whole stealing Thögn, taking the crystal, and maybe probably breaking reality. So yeah, not particularly looking forward to that conversation when I get home…"

In a single motion, Soleil yanked another marshmallow from the bag and tossed it to Morgan. She lunged, just barely catching this one as well.

Wooohooo! Two in a row! Morgan leaped to her feet, sticking both arms in the air. She would have cheered at her own victory, but she hadn't eaten the first marshmallow yet and now with two her mouth was kinda full.

"Holph oumn" Morgan said through stuffed cheeks. She chewed quickly, swallowing the sticky, surgery mush in one hard gulp. "Good! Now bask in my victory! Bask I say!"

Inigo rolled his eyes, while Soleil did the right thing and started bowing towards her mother. Sarcastic, condescending bowing, sure, but bowing nonetheless.

And people say I have a massive ego. The nerve.

"So… if Mother is done gloating… I guess you're right though. Would be pretty rude for me to just bail on my world's mother," Soleil conceded. "Though if so, you gotta promise me two things. First, you two better make sure you have me in your world and give her all the missing whole family time I didn't get with father dead."

"Sure, that can be arranged. Right, Inigo?" Morgan asked, hopping back down into his lap.

Inigo coughed, wisely not saying anything.

"And the second thing?" Morgan asked, seeing Soleil satisfied by the first answer.

"Oh, that one's easy, Once we get to the capital, father owes me a bit more father-daughter bonding time. Seeing as I'm such a lady killer and he sucks at it, I figured the two of us could go try to pick up some cute girls," Soleil said, grinning even broader now. "Don't worry mother, this is going to be purely academic on his part. Just show him how it's done, and then I take all the girls for myself. So a win-win."

"Hmmmmm…. I guess… only if I get to hide in the bushes and watch him get hopelessly shot down." Morgan agreed.

"Oh gods no," Inigo whispered, just loudly enough that Morgan could make it out.

"Deal! But I dunno, I am pretty awesome. I think I can pull it off."

"Its not you I'm not worried about. As awesome as you are, trust me when I say he's hopeless. Did you know he's had girls drug and rob him? Multiple times!"

"Kill me. Kill me now," Inigo pleaded.

"Too late. Already promise you'd be coming home with me. You can't die now without breaking that promise," Morgan countered, grinning as broadly as her daughter now. She'd forgotten how much fun it was to watch him squirm like this. After all, that's how they got together in the first place.

Inigo sobbed weakly, resigning himself to his fate.

. . . . .

Robin rolled over, staring up at the roof of his tent as he slowly dragged his hands over his face. Taking another deep breath, he squeezed his eyes shut, trying to will his body to relax and slip off into sleep. But try as he might, the events of the past few weeks continued to play out, again and again, flashing between each other in a confused, jumbled mess. Even now, exhausted as he was, his mind raced, trying to solve the puzzle before him. Whether he liked it or not.

"I don't see how... How are we going to convince them?" Robin whispered.

It was the problem he'd been struggling with more and more the closer they'd gotten to Hoshido. How to convince the nation to aid them in their fight against Anankos without triggering the curse. Normally he'd think having the nation's princesses would be enough, but from what Morgan had conveyed, Hinoka and Sakura's influence on the nation was tenuous at best. They'd need to convince nobles and the remaining military leaders to help, many of whom were already making their own moves to grab power. And even then, he doubted they'd agree to work with Nohr so easily. Not without knowing the truth of the threat they faced.

We can't expect another Moro situation to happen either. We were lucky Xander was with us then. We certainly won't be so lucky in Hoshido. Robin let out a pent up sigh, a testament to the frustration of the whole situation. They were so close, yet this final road bump may very prove the most difficult of all.

"Can't sleep?" a voice asked from next to him.

Robin turned his head, seeing Lucina staring back at him from her place next to him on their shared cott. Her eyes were half-lidded, stuck somewhere between sleep and wakefulness.

"Sorry. I didn't mean to wake you," Robin apologized, sighing again.

"I do not mind it," Lucina assured him. She rubbed her eyes, propping herself up on an arm. "What troubles you?"

Sitting upright, Robin related to her what had been preventing him from sleeping, Lucina listening patiently though it all.

"I see… I am not sure how much help I'd be in this regard. I am afraid I am quite hopeless when it comes to these sort of things," Lucina told him once he'd finished. She placed a hand on his arm.

"Says the woman who led all of the remnants of humanity against Grima," Robin countered, allowing himself a small smile. "To unite everyone left like that was no small feat, I'd imagine."

"Perhaps…" Lucina smiled too, though her own smile was tinged with sadness. "Unfortunately I had the benefit of having a known foe to rally against. But here… with a foe, we cannot speak of... I am as at a loss as you."

Robin opened his mouth to say something, only for his words to fall short as Lucina leaned in closer then, kissing him on the cheek. "But I know if anyone is capable of figuring out this puzzle, it is you, Robin. I am certain of it"

"Thanks," Robin smiled back.

"So, was that the only matter troubling you? Or was there something else?" Lucina asked him with evident concern. "When I first awoke I was worried you were struggling with something said to you by those things we fought at the Reliquary of Worlds."

Robin shook his head. "No, not particularly. I'm not going to lie and say that nothing they told me hit a mark… but in the end I've tried not to think of it much. Helps that this isn't the first time I've had to face some evil version of me saying some frankly very unkind things." He smirked slightly, adding in a more joking tone, "Though if it was up to me, I'd love for this to be the last time. It's getting quite old."

"I can imagine it would," Lucina said, sparing herself a small laugh at this.

"What about you? We didn't really talk about how you were faring after everything," Robin inquired, taking his turn to look on her with concern.

"I suppose… it wasn't easy to face down the parts of myself I'd rather wished to ignore…" she looked down at the floor of their tent. "Am I selfish, Robin?"

Ah… so that's it, Robin thought, remembering what little he'd overheard of Lucina's confrontation with her duplicates. "Of course you aren't. No more selfish than anyone else."

"But I…" Lucina started to argue.

"You lived your whole life putting everything, everyone, at the expense of yourself. It's only natural that anything less than that would seem selfish," Robin told her. "Wanting happiness for yourself isn't something to be ashamed of. Far from it… I know the promise of our life together gave me more strength than you could possibly imagine."

"I…. thank you, Robin… I know you're right, but… sometimes I doubt myself… even now…" Again Lucina kissed him, this time her lips brushing gently against his. Only when she pulled away did Robin realize there were tears in her eyes.

He knew at once what she was thinking of. It was plain to see. Even if she didn't sob, or sniffle, or cry openly. Because it was a pain he'd felt all too keenly in recent days.

"You miss them a lot," he said simply, referring to the infant Morgan and Marc they'd left back home.

"As do you," Lucina confirmed, nodding slightly. "Every time I think about our life… I can't help but fear…"

"...fear we'll never get back to them…" Robin finished for her. He blinked, feeling his own eyes string as he fought back tears of his own. He took her hands in his, holding them tightly. "Then we just have to win… fight as hard as we can to return to that life. Now more than ever."

"Yes. We must," Lucina agreed. She gave his hands a squeeze before slipping them free to wipe away the tears from her eyes. "I'm sorry…"

"There's nothing to be sorry about."

"I know… but I'm sorry for breaking down nonetheless," Lucina told him, allowing herself a small smile again.

"Yeah…" Robin trailed off, shaking his head… "I guess I better get back to thinking then if we're to have any hope of getting back home to them.

"But that can wait until tomorrow. You must not neglect yourself either. For all your talk about it being okay for myself to care for my own well being, you do still hold that terrible penchant for not holding yourself in the same regard." Lucina told him.

"I know. I'm a terrible hypocrite, aren't I?" Robin rubbed his eyes, yawning. "In this case, I agree with you only. Unfortunately, the rest of my brain doesn't seem to have gotten the message."

He sighed, shaking his head yet again. "If only there was a way we could tell them what we know. It would certainly make things a whole lot easier."

"You will get no disagreement from me. But given the circumstances I cannot see how we'd be able to," Lucina said. As he had done, she'd spoken slowly and chosen her words carefully as to not directly mention the curse.

They were lucky the curse only prevented discussing itself and Valla directly or talking about it even in this capacity would have been far trickier. Being able to at least mention not being able to talk about something and just not say what made holding conversations somewhat possible.

"Yeah… wishful thinking… looking for a convenient loophole at this late an hour is probably a fool's errand," Robin agreed.

Then he stopped, considering this for a moment longer. There was one idea he'd had in this regard. One he'd considered in passing a few times already. Though he'd quickly dismissed it every time before, writing it off as foolhardy and more than a bit reckless. But now… but now he couldn't help but consider it a bit more closely.

Now he found himself recalling something Azura had told him, how he had appeared to her when looking in from the other side. "I can see threads of light that reach beyond this word, wrapping your soul. When I look at you, I see a life flickering on the edge of oblivion. A fragile mote of light, a piece of it missing. But a great power yet fills it, drawn from the glimmering strands…"

Even now, an entire world and time away, Robin was only still here because of them. His friends. His family. It was because of them, because of the strength of their bonds, that he'd defied death itself. Defied even the pull of Grima's power.

Power enough to defy a dragon.

Then Robin shoved the thought aside, feeling a pang of guilt at even considering it. If he was wrong, even just a little… then he'd be sacrificing Lucina's happiness for nothing.

I promised her… promised her I'd give her a world and a life where she can be happy. I can't take that away from her again.

No. He couldn't do it. It wasn't worth the risk.

"But you are right…. It's pointless to think about this any more tonight," Robin told her, shoving the idea to the back of his mind. Lucina was already beginning to nod off, her eyelids drooping as sleep once again threatened to claim her. "Come on, let's get back to sleep. We've got another long day ahead of us in the morning." He reached out, wrapping his arms around his wife, kissing her again before laying down together..

"Good night, Robin," Lucina murmured, holding him close as she settled back into their bed.. Within moments Lucina had drifted back off to sleep, but for Robin he found rest eluding him for a few minutes longer. The thought he'd had still lingering in the back of his mind.

Then with an effort, he shoved it down deep, refusing to consider it any longer.

Closing his eyes, Robin, at last, felt sleep begin to claim him, his tired body sinking into the bed.

He'd just have to hope it never came to that. hope he wouldn't need to be faced with that choice.

. . . . .

Corrin wandered aimlessly through the endless sea of gray.

He was dreaming. He'd had this dream before.

Patches of light and dark flitting in and out around him, passing through the whirling wisps of fog. The mists stretched out into the nothingness, hanging over an empty plane of the mirror lake beneath his feet. For a moment he wondered if he was back there, at the Reliquary of Worlds, only to quickly abandon that thought. No, this was a dream. A dream he'd had countless times before ever stepping foot in that place.

Yet a part of him couldn't help but wonder at the similarities. Maybe the dreams had been a premonition… or perhaps not.

Each step he took as he walked on its surface sent a ripple washing outwards into the gloom, the only sound to be heard were soft plops each time his feet disturbed the surface.

Time itself held no meaning as he traveled through that eternity, only the shifting of the fog and the ripples of water splashing outwards under his feet marking any change.

Everything was still.



Then he saw it. A faint shimmer among the gray. Like a distant light calling for him. He moved towards it, passing through a place where the fog was thicker, coming out to the other side in mere moments.

He came to a stop, gazing at the luminous shape before him. A silhouette of white against the gray, her aqua hair trailing behind her. Her back was to him, her gaze on something further beyond the edge of his sight.

"Azura", he called out, his voice seeming muffled to his ears. She didn't seem to hear him, remaining motionless facing away.

Corrin reached out, stepping towards her. Then a gust of wind swirled around him, sending twisting fog washing over them both. He staggered, raising an arm over his face to shield himself from the gale. Only when it had faded did he find Azura was no longer there.

"Azura," he whispered, lowering his hand. He knew this was a dream. Had he reached it, the result would have been the same. It wouldn't have been her. She'd still be gone when he woke up.

Chasing ghosts wouldn't change anything.

Another blast of wind washed over him then, dragging away the mists to leave the landscape barren and lifeless. Gone was the mirror pool, replaced by cracked gray earth. Dark clouds rolled overhead, the land choked in thin, wispy smoke that curled and danced like pale phantoms in the wind.

A feeling of dread seized of him, the same unnatural dread that had taken him in his past dreams. But this time he didn't fight it, knowing how futile the gesture would be. Instead, he walked forward, heading further into the wastes. Ahead a pocket of smoke shifted, revealing a gray, ghostly figure standing in the gloom. Only then did Corrin stop, waiting for the man to turn around

It was the first person he'd been forced to kill: one of the soldiers he'd fought on his first mission.

Yet Corrin just stared into his face, waiting as more figures materialized behind the first. The soldiers he'd killed in the heat of battle. the people of Cheve slaughtered by Hans' men, the men and women he'd failed to save. The Kitsune, slaughtered as the Nohrian army marched into Hoshido. All of them staring at him, accusing him.

After all, they were all dead because of him.

Not bearing to look at them any longer, Corrin turned. He felt cold, icy hands reach out for him. Claws of ice passing harmlessly through him, their attempts to drag him into the abyss coming up empty.

They were already gone. Long dead. Only his guilt and regret remained of them. The scars that would never go away.

He walked slowly, only barely looking as more figures appeared before him. His brothers, Ryoma and Takumi. The other Hoshido soldiers who'd fallen in the end of the war. Then new figures joined him, the faces of people he knew. People who were still alive in his world

Yet he'd watched them die all the same. In those memories that were not his own. Memories of that other world. Xander, Elise, Laslow, Peri, and countless others. Their dead eyes accusing him of the same cold judgment as those that died in his world. They closed in around him, their rasping voices whisper on the wind

"You murdered us."

"Killed us"

"It was you."

"You could have saved us..."

"You killed us."


Corrin said nothing, turning his gaze to the ground.

"I'm sorry," he whispered. He closed his eyes, waiting for them to fall upon him. Waiting for the darkness to claim him and for the dream to end.

"Did you… really think… it would be… that simple?" The cold of the voice cut Corrin to the very bone, stabbing like a dagger of ice into his heart.

Corrin whirled around, reaching for Yato only to find his hands empty. The blade wasn't there. He was alone. Helpless.

Just then tendrils of black, inky water wrapped up out of the earth. They seized him, wrapping around him like the waiting maws of some beast of the deepest abyss. The world shattered like a broken mirror, shards of reality raining down all around him as he fell.

He slammed into a pool of black water. Ice filled his lungs as water rushed in through his open mouth and nose. He couldn't breathe. He felt his consciousness fading fast. Darkness closing in around him as he struggled to swim against the dragging current pulling him downward. Around him laughter echoed, coming from the same malevolent force he'd felt before.

Then something crashed over him: an unseen force that froze him in place. He couldn't move. He couldn't breathe. He couldn't even fade in unconsciousness. It was as if he'd been plucked out of that moment, stuck in some single fragment of time.

Against the black voice, he saw it. A white, featureless mask, behind which lurked an unseen shadow. He could tell it was there, even if he couldn't see it, Invisible, yet present. Like the phantoms, he'd fought, only different somehow. More real. More present. Something more.

"Why do you struggle... against fate? It cannot be escaped… never escaped…" the voice whispered, it's words wrapping around his mind.

This thing… it wasn't part of his dream. Somehow it had invaded it, taken control, and warped it to his whims. It was their enemy… the one they struggled against…


"Give in... only then can you escape it. Only at the end of all things… can fate be broken…"

Darkness closed in around him, the presence smothering all thought and reason left within Corrin. He felt the flame of his life flicker, beginning to fade out. He closed his eyes, too tired to fight against it any longer.

Then a white light erupted from somewhere above, cutting through the darkness and illuminating the sea in its radiance. It was warm. The dark presence recoiled away, a silent scream tearing through the abyss as it fell away from him.

Freed from its grasp, Corrin began to float towards the surface, his consciousness began to fade once more. The light grew brighter, it's warmth wrapping around him like an embrace. He felt a hand take hold of his, pulling him up into the sun above the waves. The last thing he felt was cool hair against his face and a comforting voice in his ears.

It's okay my love… remember that I'll always be with you.

. . . . .

Gasping for air, Corrin awoke with a start. He lurched over to his side, coughing as his body acted on instinct to expel the water he knew had filled his lungs. Instead, only air escaped, his breathing coming in ragged, painful gasps. He wasn't drowning. He was awake. In his room. Everything was dark, the morning still some time away.

Shaking, Corrin willed himself to breathe slowly, managing after a moment to catch his breath. That dream…

Corrin shuddered.

Reflecting on it now, he was more certain of the realization he'd had while still unconscious. That presence wasn't part of his dream. Whether the whole thing had been a fabrication, or merely the final moments, Corrin couldn't say. But something else had invaded his mind, twisted his dreams into something else. Into an attack on his psyche.


Corrin wondered if this was the first time the dragon had tried to manipulate him like this? Had his other nightmares been more than that as well? Had the scenes and memories torturing him night after night been conjured for that purpose. How could he know for certain?

Or had those dreams been real all along? And even if they had come from his own subconscious, that didn't rule out Anankos still influencing them somehow. Twisting a dream and thought here and there, nudging him closer to despair. Maybe that's what Anankos had been trying to do. Play to Corrin's loneliness and regrets, and use that weakness as a moment to strike.

If that's what he's doing, then he's doing one heck of a job, Corrin admitted bitterly. Right now he felt more alone than he'd felt since those horrible days following Azura's death.

He'd thought those dreams could no longer hurt him. Or at least he'd resolved to not let them. But it hadn't changed anything. He was still as lonely, afraid, and helpless as he'd always been. It was just like he said… how can I possibly defy my fate? All of those worlds I saw… every one of them… they all ended the same. If no other version of me could escape it, then how can I have any hope that I'll meet anything but the same end?

Corrin tucked his knees against his chest, wrapping his arms around himself as he sat there at the center of his bed. He was too exhausted to do anything else but too afraid to sleep. Too afraid… afraid he'd just be attacked again… and that this time he wouldn't escape…

How did I escape?

That light…

Corrin wondered at those final moments, of the light that had driven the presence away. Had it merely been some aspect of his mind, rejecting Anankos' presence? Or had it been something else… someone else…

Corrin shook his head, not daring to let himself believe in that possibility. Even after all this time, after knowing how she'd saved him time and time again, he couldn't bear the thought that Azura had reached out to rescue him again. That even now she was there with him… so close...yet…

Still out of his reach… in a place, no longing and wishing could allow him to reach her.

Corrin extended a hand, feeling tears roll down his cheeks. That's what he wanted right now. More than anything. To feel her hand holding his. To hear her tell him that it's alright. That's the only thing he wanted.

He just wanted her here…

. . . . .

Azura stared back at Corrin through the white mists that clouded the world. It flowed around them, almost glowing with its own light that obscured the room the two of them once shared.

Reaching out, Azure extended a hand, trying to touch Corrin's, only for her fingers to pass through his, feeling nothing. As if they weren't there.

Or rather, because she wasn't really there.

"I'm sorry, Corrin… I wish I could…" she looked down, not wanting to see the pain and loneliness etched into his face any longer.

There hadn't been since they parted so she didn't wish she'd been stronger somehow. That she'd found a way to keep her promise. Found a way not to leave him…

But more than anything she wished she could reach him now. Toi holds him close to tell him everything was alright. To promise she'd never leave him again…

She stared again at her outstretched hand, overlapping with her love's own. So close, yet out of reach…

She wished she could be there. With him.

Author's Note: Wow, it's been a long time since the last one. Sorry about that everyone, a combination of lack of motivation plus a bit of burn-out from scrambling to get seven one-shots done for Robcina week back in april contributed to this taking much longer then I'd have liked.

That said, I now have fresh motivation to write more, that being my absolute rage at Fire Emblem Heroes right now, particularly in regards to the new summer alts. Basically, after two years of no seasonal alts for any Awakening characters, after two years of no alts for Lucina (who already has the laziest set of alts, with two versions that are just Great Lord Lucina with two different weapons, as well as the worst alt in the form of Masked Marth), after two years of people asking for a summer Lucina based on her cipher card… they add her as Masked Marth as a glorified accessory to a character from another game. Not just from any other game, but to a Tellius character, who have literally gotten alts every single seasonal banner this year and on half of the banners last year. Safe to say I am very upset at the fact that IS clearly doesn't give a crap about Awakening or Lucina anymore, so now I need to take power into my own hands. So expect some one-shots in Love Across Time coming in the near future too.

Anyhow, sorry about that rant. Had to get it off my chest. No guest reviews to respond to, since the one I got was just saying good job (though I appreciate it). So I guess that's all for now, I hope you guys enjoyed this one. Until next time, let me know what you thought. I always love hearing your guys' feedback. Take care, and have a wonderful day!