Title: Your Hands Brought the Morrow
Disclaimer: I own absolutely no part of the Fire Emblem series, including the characters or the (insane) Fates plot referenced in this story. I take credit for this Fanfiction, and nothing more. All ownership rights belong to Nintendo.
Author's Note: I summoned Jakob in FE Heroes right after I posted my story, "Warm Hands" about Sophie/Dwyer. Then I summoned a four-star Seliph and a five-star Leo, so….Dwyphie is my good luck charm?
Anyway, I've always wanted to write a multi-chaptered story about these two, from childhood to adulthood and my interpretation of their relationship. I hope you guys enjoy it! Takes place in the FE Fates: Conquest universe, so please expect spoilers for the whole game.
"Don't just stand there, boy," an older man bellowed, his hand slapping a young boy on the back to shove him forward. "These are your new masters. Greet them."
The voice came from a gruff knight named Gunter, who was currently standing with a fresh face at his side. The young boy had silvery hair and wore a look of malice on his face, his lilac eyes staring up at the nobles before him with a mixture of anger and anxiety.
Xander and Camilla, who were a few years older than the little boy, looked at him inquisitively. It was an awkward meeting, especially given the recent circumstances. Xander's expression never faltered to show anything but distant professionalism, but Camilla wore a look of visible sympathy as she looked at the small boy before them.
Ah, so he was the one. He was the new servant that had caused panic hours before.
Camilla had initially awoken to the sound of a commotion in the castle right before dawn. After sneaking from her bedroom and hiding atop of the structure's massive stone staircases, she saw that the bedlam was caused by the presence of a surprise guest. The guest was a small child, dripping wet from the rain and marred with bruises she didn't know the origin of. From what she had heard, two nobles had abandoned their son on the castle doorsteps. The guards had seen the couple flee, but nobody seemed to know the identities of either party. They were probably long gone by now.
The boy was a few years younger than her, and initially wore the clothes of nobility. It was obvious he had come from a wealthy background.
"Speak, boy!" Gunter barked again. His voice was more strident than before.
Grumbling, the boy dipped his head and bowed. He was modestly attired in the clothes of a servant boy, which he had now become since his newfound abandonment. It was clear to Camilla that the young boy had been left in the castle's infamously cut-throat care to suffer and perhaps even die. She was sure his parents didn't care which.
"Milord, milady," he said quietly, not lifting his gaze to meet theirs. Whatever was left of the poor boy's pride was probably shattered that second. "My name is Jakob. I shall be working as a servant here from now on."
Silence followed his empty words. When Jakob straightened his posture, Gunter roared loudly, "You aren't done introducing yourself, child! What else?"
Jakob's glare was sharp as a dagger as he lifted his eyes to briefly meet Gunter's then turned to look back at the two noble teens before him.
"And…" he seethed, taking visibly deep breaths to calm his still smoldering anger. "And I hope I can be of service to you. If you need my assistance, you need but ask."
The knight lifted a hand and planted it firmly on Jakob's shoulder.
"Imperfect and a little wordy, but it shall suffice," Gunter said with a sigh as the young boy stood upright again. He pulled Jakob back to his side, not wanting him to get too close to the heirs of the Nohrian throne. "I apologize for his informality, Lord Xander and Lady Camilla. The boy is a brat. Forgive him."
The small princess's reply came swiftly in response to the knight's unnecessarily harsh words.
"Not at all," Camilla said, bobbing her head sweetly and giving the boy a smile. It was not returned.
"We are happy to make your acquaintance," Xander said with a nod. Although he kept his sentiments impersonal, he did feel bad for the boy. Jakob's sudden and unexplained appearance reminded him of somebody else that was a part of their family, but didn't reside within the castle walls.
"I apologize we aren't all here to greet you," Xander said vaguely, titling his head sympathetically. He shut his eyes and sighed deeply, as if he found the circumstances truly unfortunate. Jakob's moonlight-colored brow lofted in silent inquisitiveness as he looked at the forlorn look on the blond prince's face and knew that there was more to the story.
"We have another sister, a little younger than you, but I'm afraid she's not here," Camilla elaborated sadly. "I'm sure she would be thrilled to meet you."
That statement struck Jakob as strange. If the nobles had another sister, why wasn't she staying in the castle with her siblings? It seemed like an odd arrangement, but he knew better than to pose any questions. The boy merely nodded and kept his mouth shut.
"Will Jakob be meeting Corrin?" Xander asked the seasoned knight curiously. "Camilla is right. I'm sure she'd love to meet him as well. They seem similar in age…perhaps he could provide her company."
"I'm afraid he hasn't yet, but the date is close," Gunter said with what Jakob could see was obviously forced politeness. It made him sick to watch. "Jakob and I will be relocating to the fortress soon for his training with the other servants. Of course I'll introduce them, although he's hardly experienced enough to actually tend to her."
Like I'd want to anyway, Jakob thought bitterly.
Camilla continued to send smiles in Jakob's direction. Although none of them were received, she remained persistent.
"Dear, you will adore her," Camilla said dotingly. "I know you're going through a lot, but Corrin can bring a smile to anyone's face!"
The boy wanted to gag. As if a spoiled princess could quell the hatred still burning brightly in his chest, he thought. Even after everything he'd been through and having his life ripped away from him at such a young age, the nobles were still more interested in him catering to a princess's whims than his own well-being. He supposed he'd have to get used to such treatment from now on.
"You both come from…interesting backgrounds," Camilla elaborated regarding the mysterious princess. Xander elbowed her harshly in the side, not liking the informality that Camilla spoke with towards the new servant. She shot him a glacial look. "What? I only speak the truth! Perhaps they will even bond and become friends. That would be wonderful, would it not?"
Her words sounded surprisingly hopeful, as if she truly longed for her little sister to have an actual companion.
"Camilla, please," Xander groaned. "You shouldn't forget your manners and speak so casually."
It seemed that Camila had let a little too much information slip about the princess's identity. He was still unsure of the girl's existence. Jakob had come from a noble family, and he knew of King Garon, Xander and Camilla. Corrin's name was the only one that didn't ring any bells. He was able to deduce quickly that the kingdom of Nohr seemed to have a few dirty secrets. Not that he was shocked, of course.
"Don't be careless, Camilla," Xander groaned. "Jakob will meet Corrin in due time. He doesn't need to know anything else."
"Oh, Xander…" the young lady groaned, seemingly annoyed by his cautiousness. She cast the young servant and apologetic stare. Jakob didn't have the energy to take offense or accept the condolences.
The boy listened to the two teens, albeit with intense disinterest. He had no idea who this Corrin was, but he knew for sure he had absolutely no interest in meeting her. They both seemed to dote on her, which made her lack of living arrangements in the royal castle even stranger to him. Although he was a little curious, Jakob still didn't desire to meet the princess, no matter how perfect she allegedly was. If she was anything like her siblings, she'd only have false pity and sympathy to offer him, neither of which he desired in the slightest.
"You are both too kind," Gunter said, smiling at the young teens before he looked down and Jakob and pushed him along. "Come along, Jakob!"
The boy bowed once more without needing to be prompted. Xander was especially impressed by that. The new servant was picking up on protocol surprisingly fast and, even though the young prince could see that Gunter was fascinated, he didn't dare show such an emotion to Jakob. It was far too early for the two to share any form of closeness.
Gunter was silent as he escorted the young boy down a narrow corridor. As they left the glitz of the main interior and began to descend into the servants' quarters, the young boy noticed an obvious decline in the living standards. The distinct odor of standing water ambushed his senses, and it was so dark that even the flickering torches on the wall didn't help him see. Gunter walked confidently, without missing a beat or hesitating at a turn. He knew seemed to know the area like the back of his hand.
"This way," he said quietly. "I'll see you back to your quarters. I don't want you getting lost down here."
"Yessir," Jakob responded dimly.
Although the little boy knew he would absolutely get lost in the catacombs without help, he also knew that wasn't the knight's main reason for the escort. There was no sense of trust between them, and Gunter was merely making sure the boy didn't try to escape or put himself out of his own misery. Jakob would be lying if he said those thoughts hadn't crossed his mind.
He was awoken from his daydream by another shove from Gunter, who walked briskly at his heels.
"Pick up your feet when you walk, child," he chided. Although he was still reprimanding him, Jakob noticed a clear difference in his tone once the nobles were out of earshot. His voice was a little softer. It was still prim but not nearly as malignant.
"Sorry," Jakob replied with equated softness. The change in tone had caught him off-guard and made him uncomfortable.
The knight continued speaking as they came to a heavy, oak door with a cast-iron lock. An oblivious onlooker might have confused the accommodations for a jail cell rather than a child's bedroom. Gunter turned the key and said coldly, "You will not be assigned chores tonight. Instead, you will prepare for our departure for the Northern Fortress. We leave at dawn."
A few steps later, he entered the darkened chamber and walked to his humble bed in the corner. The door slammed shut behind him, creating a sound that was powerful enough to rattle his tiny ribcage. Perhaps he's merely imagined the knight's temporary kindness.
Jakob grimaced in the darkness in an attempt to suppress the heat slowly pooling behind his lilac eyes. As prideful as he was, he absolutely refused to cry…no matter what happened.
At that moment, Jakob hated the world. He hated Gunter, he hated the Nohrian family, he hated Castle Krakenburg and he especially hated his bloody parents. No matter who Corrin was, he knew he'd hate her as well.
The boy didn't want to stay, but he didn't want to go home to the hellhole he'd lived in so his earliest years. He found the idea of simply vanishing to be the most favorable option.
The boy wiped his dry eyes and distracted himself by packing his suitcase in preparation for their early departure. He didn't have many belongings or personal affects with him, but he still took a careful amount of time making sure everything was organized and ready to go come morning. For him, taking time to fold and organize his belongings was a form of meditation. Clothes were folded and trinkets were organized until, finally, his humble bag was ready to go.
Despite the terrible circumstances, the boy felt a little surge of pride at the sight of his handiwork. Something about organizing and cleaning made him feel useful. When he looked at the small bag, for just a moment, it seemed like all was well and orderly in the world. It had proved to be a nice distraction, to say the least.
Perhaps they would assign him more work at the fortress. The thought wasn't immediately displeasing to him…and perhaps there would be some small parts of his new life that he enjoyed. More accurately, the young boy prayed that such would be the case.
Otherwise, he wasn't sure how he was going to stay sane.
I apologize for spoilers, but I might also take some liberties with the Fates: Conquest story because…it's just so crazy. I love Conquest and Revalations, but the stories are insane. It definitely has its glimmers of brilliance, but too many times I was like, 'Woah, what? How? Why?'
I love the characters unconditionally though. Recommendations are welcome, of course! I'll try to make as many people happy as possible.
Next time, we meet the mysterious princess Corrin.