Author: Lizzy Rebel
Disclaimer: One day, pigs shall fly and on that day I shall become owner of Fire Emblem! Until then, however… DON'T SUE ME!
Keywords: Rath, Ninian, pure unadulterated fluff
Couples: now with a whole lot of them!
Rating: PG-13 for sexual undertones and some scenes of violence
Teaser: Rath wanted Lyn, Ninian wanted Eliwood. Sometimes things don't work out as we plan them chapter version
Feedback: I'll love you forever if you do
Timeline: Chapter 25 and onward
Author's Notes: A little later than I would have liked, but mid terms are a bitch. Seriously. So here it is. The final chapter!
Story Notes: Gaw. The Lizzy finds herself righting fluff. Why is it she does fluff so much better than angst? Lizzy wants to be angst writer! Now she had to cry in a corner and… hey… wait… why is Lizzy speaking of herself in the third person? Why must the good speak in third person?
Warning: for those allergenic to fluff… run… now
Chapter Five: The One With the Epilogue
With a fluid, trained motion Rath strung his bow and shoot the arrow from its notch. It slammed into the head of the knighted morph who dared approach Lady Yuki's huddled group.
But the morph didn't bleed. Perhaps it couldn't. The skin melted from the bones and faded into dust as the body crumpled to the floor.
Besides him, the newest member of their group, Renault, gave an almost unnoticeable flinch.
Fiora and Farina had gone with Hector and Eliwood to face Limstella in her fortress. The tactician had ordered everyone else to stay together as wave after wave of morphs attacked them.
Jaffar and Lyn had taken the knights attacking them from the left while Rath, Nino, and Rebecca were tackling the Falcoknights and Nomad Troopers that rushed to them when Eliwood, Hector, Fiora, and Farina had escaped their clutches.
In the center of their group Nils stood, clutching his piccolo in one hand. Lyn had made the order to keep Nils in the center, knowing they couldn't risk losing him. With neither the tactician nor Eliwood around Lyn had taken up the role as leader.
A Falcoknight rushed at his side and Rath loaded its body with arrows. Unfortunately, he didn't see the Nomad Trooper coming up fast on his right.
Before Rath could even hope to defend himself, Kent roared past his side and rammed his silver sword into the Nomad's chest. Again, there was no blood as the creature burst into dust.
Rath nodded to Kent as he took his place beside his vessel, Lyn. A cool sweat worked on his brow and he wiped at it. It seemed the waves of morphs never ended. Perhaps they didn't. Perhaps it didn't take much for Nergal to create these twisted mutations of humans. There was no way to know.
Nils came up to Rath's side and closed his eyes, breathing in deep. "I cannot feel Limstella's power anymore," he explained and a sad look covered his eyes. "Nergal's perfect morph has been destroyed."
"Good," Rath muttered curtly, nodding. Limstella had killed many, ruined lives, and she had always been by Nergal's side. She deserved to die. For letting what happened to Ninian happen. For doing nothing.
"I can't imagine it," Nils admitted and shuddered. "Knowing your entire existence was simply to serve a madman. What she must have felt like, I wonder, inside?"
"Nothing. She was a morph and so she felt nothing." Rath wasn't sure how he knew, but he knew. "Nergal knew as well if they had thoughts and emotions of their own they would one day rebel against him. And so, he sees to it that the morphs know nothing but their duty to serve him."
"And yet… Ephdel was afraid when he died. He begged for help. He wanted to live. Isn't that a human emotion?" Nils received no answer from Rath. "I wonder what Limstella felt… when she was killed?"
"It doesn't matter. She was an obstacle. She had to be eliminated." Rath looked down at Nils and admitted softly, "Now we can avenge Ninian."
"I know. I have never thought differently." Nils eyes darkened. "It is just so sad that everything has to be like this because of one twisted man and his corrupted mind. That is what I regret. I think, that is what Ninian regretted."
All for a madman, Rath thought bitterly, a sour taste clogging the back of his throat. One man had destroyed everything.
He would pay.
Eliwood in the lead, Lyn at his side, Hector just behind. Together, the Lords stormed the Dragon's Gate. Their friends and allies and companions followed without hesitation. They knew very well they could be riding into death, but they knew that it was for the greater good. For the generations that would come after them.
Rath looked over at Nils and the little boy nodded his head in understanding. Whatever happened, he would not run away again. He had a promise to keep to his sister.
"Everyone…" Lady Yuki turned as they stood upon the threshold of the stairs leading down to the Dragon's Gate. It was dark below her, a consuming darkness that overflowed with power bent on destroying everything. "Now would be good time… to leave, you know? Wouldn't blame you… one bit."
"Lyndis is going down, Lady Yuki," Kent pointed out, glancing over at the princess as she and the Lords huddled together for one last conversation. "And that means I will go as well."
"I must go as well," Fiora agreed, sparing a glance Kent's way. "For my Wing that died I must avenge them."
Everyone else voiced their agreement. Lady Yuki looked near tears again. She wiped at them in anger. "Shoulda just taken the hint and gotten gone. Now I'm gonna cry!" She shook her head. "Just no haunting me from the grave if you die."
"We ain't gonna die!" Dart protested. "We're gonna kick Nergal's ass then drink until our sides our sore!" He slapped Farina heartily on the back.
"I sure hope so," Lady Yuki agreed softly.
Rath didn't say anything. He closed his eyes and listened to the wind rustling around him, the sounds of voices. They all told of what would come, the death and the revival. Nergal would pay and the world would be safe again. The children of tomorrow would be able live in peace without worry. He would see to it.
And when it was done he would return to Sacae and face his father. He had been running from it for too long. After all that had happened, he would finally be ready to face the Silver Wolf and live the rest of his life out in peace and silence.
He would take Nils to Sacae and he would watch the boy grow up, into a man. And he would make sure Nils was happy and that he was able to live without fear or hatred. He would see Nils a young man happy.
Because Ninian would want that. She would want Nils to be happy and he knew he was the only one she would have trusted to do it.
Fire boiled in his blood as Lady Yuki gave everyone the heads up to go into the Dragon's Gate. Nergal waited there, in that darkness. He thought he had the advantage but he was wrong. He had made the battle personal. He had taken from them someone who had mattered and there could be no forgiveness for him.
Athos warped in suddenly, gripping in his hands the legendary weapons he had promised to fetch for Hector and Eliwood. He also carried under his arms magickal tomes, designed especially for him.
To Eliwood went Durandal, it long, long blade glowing in the sunlight. It was created only for the purpose of destroying dragons and evil. It at times acted on its own, driving its owner to do the thing it believed right, even if it wasn't so. Durandal was a magickal sword and it saw things in only black and white. An enemy was an enemy was an enemy. Nothing changed that.
To Hector went the Armads, a heavy axe any else could not hold. It glowed with a power, deep red, that almost matched that of Durandal. Like its sword counterpart it knew only enemies. In its power there were no allies. If one was to get in its way no doubt it would cut the obstacle down, even without the owner's consent.
For Lyn there had been no sword of legend to give her. However, Athos had not come to the Lady empty handed. He had collected the long-lost partner to her Mani Katti, the Sol Katti. Unlike the Armads and Durandal, the Sol Katti had no conscience of its own. It would follow the will of the owner, adding its power to her movements. It was not as strong as the other weapons, but it was purer.
As the Lords prepared their new weapons for battle—both Hector and Eliwood weighed down by their power while Lyn was simply heightened by it—Athos readied his own weapons. He had brought his Forblaze, the powerful anima spell, but he had also brought a tome of glowing light. It would have shone without the sun on it, the light coming from its insides. This was Aureola, the gift Saint Elimine had left to her followers before her passing.
With everything ready, the Lords and their troupe set out for one last battle, one last fight. Everyone was counting on them. The world was counting on them.
For you Ninian…
Rath didn't dare believe it. He edged Khan closer to the girl… was it possible?
His hands clenched around the Rienfleche bow he had taken from the dusted morph of Uhai. Lady Yuki had made him take it when he wouldn't have. He and Uhai were both Sacaen and a small thread of loyalty hadn't allowed him to remove it from the dust pile that had once been Nergal's morph. But Lady Yuki had changed his mind. She had looked at him with cool eyes and measuring features.
He's dead… he wasn't even real this time. What does it matter? Take the bloody bow and be done with it. Nothing matters… anymore… just beating Nergal. Do you what you have to, Rath, and take the damn bow. Her voice had been so hard then, a block of ice, that he had obeyed without question, pulling the powerful bow and arrow set from the dust pile. Then Lady Yuki had turned to guide Athos the Archsage and the Pegasus Sisters against Kenneth the Bishop.
The morphs they had faced had been like the past slapping them. There had been Uhai and Kenneth and Jerme and Usrula and Darin and Brendan Reed and his sons, Lloyd and Linus. Nergal's final betrayal to the people who had stood beside him as allies. Sonia was not among their ranks, but Rath had never considered that.
From Kenneth, Athos had been given Luce, no one else willing to hold it. Though it was a tome of powerful light, it almost shone with impurity, tainted not by the morph who had wielded it but by the man who had given it to him. Athos had accepted it but his face had been drawn in, as if holding it took all his willpower.
Kenneth's morph had also dropped the deadly dark Gespenst. That had been given to Canas, who had accepted it with trembling hands. When he had touched the smooth cover of the tome he had shuddered. Rath had heard him mumble that he prayed he never had to look upon it again.
When Darin had fallen he had left the Rex Hasta, which Lady Yuki had given to Fiora. The Falcoknight had accepted it dutiful, but she looked tired upon holding it, as if touching the tainted weapon drained her of strength. She did not voice a complaint and wielded it in battle against the brothers Reed.
Brendan, the former leader of the Black Fang, had carried a weapon called the Basilikos. When the morph had fallen the deadly axe had been handed over to Dart. The pirate had accepted it frowning and with a vicious curse. He used it, and well, but looked ready to throw it to the floor at any time.
Lloyd had given them the last weapon, the powerful, sleek sword the Regal Blade. That had been given to Kent, who had actually opened his mouth to protest it. But then Lady Yuki looked ready to give him the same lecture she had given to Rath and Kent had taken it, touching its silver with distaste.
These weapons had been created with an evil intent, but they would help them save the world. Those who wielded them would carry in their hearts the scars the weapons left and would forever be reminded the sacrifices they had made for the future.
They had gotten to Nergal and Athos had told everyone to stand back as he took care of the Dark Druid. Rath had protested, wanting only to kill the evil man, but Lady Yuki had ordered him sternly to stay back and shut up. All of Eliwood's troupe watched as Athos used his light magick against Nergal, Priscilla healing occasionally.
And Nergal had indeed been defeated. Rath had felt a bitter taste in his mouth when he realized he wouldn't even be able to inflict a single pang of pain on the Dark Druid, but he hadn't spoken up.
Then the dragons had risen up. Rath had stared at them wondering if they looked bit like Ninian and her bother or if they knew her and if they would be saddened to know she was dead. He hadn't been afraid as the dragons had looked at Eliwood's troupe hungrily. Let them come, he had told himself, I don't care anymore.
Then the cloaked figure who Eliwood had met in the Shrine of Seals and said was neither male nor female appeared. Bramimond. And even more surprising had been the fact that in his arms he totted the limp, dead body of the dragon-girl Ninian.
He watched as the cloaked ancient summoned power and brought the girl to life, her eyes fluttering open. He spoke her name but she seemed to be in a daze as she walked past him, towards the dragons coming from the gate. Her hair had fallen limply over her body as she moved, trancelike, toward her brethren. Tears had fallen down her cheeks and her eyes were pale in her face.
Rath made a dash for her, to protect her, but Lady Yuki gripped his arm and shook her head. Ninian summoned her powers of ice and destroyed her dragon kin. And as only one still stood, she crumpled to the ground, sobbing gently, her body trembling with spasms as she begged to be spared from killing those who had been perhaps her friends at one time. Nils rushed toward along with Eliwood to examine her.
He couldn't seem to move. He sat on Khan, in the back of the pack and watched. Some part of his mind screamed that it was a trick and that the real Ninian was dead, dead by Eliwood's hand. The other part told him to quit being an idiot and grab her and never let go. He was caught between which he should listen to.
Before he had the chance to make his decision, Bramimond picked her up in his/her/its arms and told Eliwood he would look after her until the battle was complete. Ninian had curled into the thing's arms and clutched the thick fabric covering the ancient being's body.
Eliwood unhooked his legendary sword from its sheath and Lady Yuki rushed forward to guide him with new vigor. Everyone eased back into a relieved position and held their breath as Eliwood faced down the deadly fire dragon.
The whole world held its breath, praying for a little redhead Lordling who might save everything.
Rath didn't. He still hadn't forgiven Eliwood, Ninian alive or no. And he would never forgive the Lord. He sat calmly on Khan, wondering and hoping about Ninian's life. He wanted the battle to end soon so he could see her. His body screamed for her, clawing at his throat and his heart, demanding he find her.
That was when he felt a presence by his side. He watched as the cloaked ancient creature appeared at his side, Ninian still in his arms.
"Miscalculated," she/he/it muttered to itself, sounding weak and small. That must have been its own voice, Rath realized with a jolt. But he couldn't tell if it was male or female or both. It spoke of power and weariness but not of who it was, truly. "Used to much power. Not enough to… bring the girl… away…"
Without a word Rath edged Khan over to the man. "I'll take her," he said calmly, outstretching his arms towards the creature.
Bramimond raised his/her/its hooded head and looked at Rath with blank eyes. "Yes, take her…" he/she/it agreed in a voice that sounded eerily like Rath's. "Not strong enough… to hold her… take her…"
The cloaked man/woman/thing handed Rath Ninian in quaking arms. Without a word Rath gathered up in his arms and held her close, rocking her gently. A voice was saying her name over and over and over again and he didn't realize it was his own voice whispering it.
Up ahead the dragon screamed in pain as the legendary sword Eliwood wielding cut into its skin. It was a horrible sound; far worse then the howl Ninian had given when she had been an ice dragon. It was as if the dragon's voice was grappling with its life, trying to find some foothold in it and it couldn't.
That was when he felt her stir. Checking his gasp, he looked down at her as her pale lids opened to reveal those garnet eyes. For a moment she looked past him, out at the nothing around them, into the darkness she had been floating around in for so long. Then she finally came into herself and her eyes became aware. She raised her head and stared at him in disbelief.
"Rath…?" she questioned, but wasn't able to get out another word as he clamped his mouth soundly over her own.
She responded instantly, wrapping her arms around his neck and clinging onto him as hard as she could. He had never been so wild with her before and he couldn't seem to make himself stop. All he wanted to do was hold her and kiss her until his mind accepted she was alive and well.
She tasted the same, she felt the same, she sighed the same. Didn't that make her truly Ninian? Or was this some illusion of his fevered brain? Perhaps he had been slain by the dragon and the world was destroyed and he was simply dreaming it all in purgatory.
Finally he broke away, staring into those captivating orbs, stroking her cheek softly, "Ninian…" Her cheeks were cold and trembling. No, this couldn't be a dream or an illusion. This was really. Ninian was real.
Back to him.
The dragon girl gave a cry and pressed her head against his shoulder, fighting tears. His hands rose instantly to run through her pale tresses. She went slack against him, boneless. Her tears hit his shoulder silently, but neither said a word.
"Are you alright?" he asked after a long moment of holding her.
"I think so…" Ninian answered, withdrawing her head from his shoulder, much to his disappointment. He wanted to hold her forever, to run with her to Sacae and forget this had ever happened to them.
Suddenly there was a wild howl that had both of them looking up. The fire dragon lay dieing at Eliwood feet, looking up at him shocked eyes. The legendary sword Eliwood clutched in his grasp was bloodily and shaking.
The sword clanked to the ground as the Lord slid from his horse to his knees in horror at what he had done, his whole body trembling. Lyndis rushed forward, everyone else behind her, and brought Eliwood into her loving arms, whispering soothing things into his ears. Eliwood stared ahead, unsure of how to comprehend what he had done. Another dragon he had killed. Another dragon who had nothing wrong.
No one seemed to notice the state of weakness Athos was currently in as he backed away from the group, slowly lowering himself to the hard ground.
"He was… just like me…" Ninian said sobbing, her voice filled with pain and grief. She had just witnessed a close kin dying while she had been helpless to stop it. "That fire dragon. He just wanted to see… home…"
Without a word, Rath helped her off Khan and onto her feet. She almost fell, unused to walking on her legs again, but he was there to catch her and right her. She looked up at him, her eyes wide, and opened her mouth to speak.
"Ninian!" Nils waved his arms frantically, rushing toward them. Tears splashed down from the boy's ruby eyes as he ran to them as fast as he could force his legs to go.
Rath gave Ninian a slight push and the young woman ran to her brother, her arms wide and accepting. Nils threw himself into them, burying his head into her bosom and crying loudly. Ninian smiled softly and ran her fingers through his hair, trying her best to soothe him.
"Rath…" The nomad turned and watched as a weak Lady Yuki made her way over to him, a smile playing on her lips. "You seem well…"
"Ninian is back," was all he offered and the tactician nodded in understanding.
A sudden choked cry was given by Nils and both Rath and Lady Yuki watched as the three Lords and the dragon-boy gathered around a weak Lord Athos, who had somehow found the energy to call to his fellow comrades in his dying moments. He opened his mouth and began to speak in a raspy voice to the people that surrounded him.
Rath stood off to the side, feeling slightly sad for the aging man but overall indifferent about the whole thing. He had never really gotten to know Lord Athos like Eliwood or Lyn or Hector had. It twisted his heart to know the world would be losing such a supporter, but to go to the Lords and mourn him seemed somehow offending.
Lady Yuki bowed her head and whispered softly, "in nomine Patris et Filii et Spiritus Santi..."
He didn't bother to ask her what that meant since he had a good idea it was said for Lord Athos. Instead he looked away from the dieing old man to Ninian. The dragon-girl cried softly off to the side, most likely not feeling right to join the Lords in their goodbyes to the Archsage. Perhaps she blamed herself for it.
Finally, after a long time, Eliwood released Athos's limp hand. Without a word, Lady Yuki walked forward with Sain and Kent at her side, ready to bring the body out into the light where he could be properly buried. Athos did not deserve to be left in this dark, evil place.
Eliwood then approached Ninian, his face breaking out into a weary smile. Ninian offered a mirrored one in return. She patted his arm in a friendly manner and Eliwood opened his mouth to speak.
He couldn't make out what they were saying, but Eliwood was most likely expressing his joy at seeing the young woman alive. He smiled, pleased to see he was not jealous, and turned away.
There was something in Nils's eyes as he looked at the Dragon's Gate. Then he looked at Rath, a pained expression on his face. Slowly he turned to face Ninian as she made her way over to them.
"Nils… we must return to our world… and seal the gate so no more dragons try to enter this world." Ninian was careful not to look at the nomad—whose face had gone blank—as she told her brother the hard truth. She was biting her bottom lip and her eyes shone with unshed tears.
The little dragon-boy lowered his head as Eliwood opened his mouth to protest, "Ninian… you can't…!"
"I don't want to leave, but if I don't more dragons will come through… they'll want to see home, too," Ninian admitted, not looking at Eliwood, but staring hard at Rath. "Oh Rath…"
"I guess I won't be able to show you Sacae." Rath said, his voice remote and cool, the only thing keeping him from breaking apart. "I am sorry, Ninian… you and Nils would have liked it…"
"Rath…" Ninian began to cry softly, her voice hitched, "I wish so badly that things could be different for us… but I have to do this. It's the only way I can protect you. Rath, Rath… I love you…"
Without a word he brought her into his arms, ignoring the stares of the people around him. In that moment there was only he and Ninian. "I know… Ninian, I know… I love you, too." He stroked her hair, trying to memorize her texture and her smell when he felt Nils come up his side.
"Ninian…" Nils said as his sister pulled herself from Rath's arms to look at him. "Stay here, with Rath. I'll go alone."
"Nils…? What are you…?"
A sad smile—it was so sad it hurt to look at him—came cross the boy's lips, "I can do it on my own, Ninian. I'll shut the gate, you stay here."
"But Nils, I can't leave you!" Ninian protesting, shaking her head, her body trembling with hope and fear in Rath's arms.
"This way, you'll be happy and I can be happy knowing it," Nils told her, taking her arm and rubbing it. They looked so much the same. Nils and his sister Ninian and there was such love shining between them. "I think I always knew that once we came here you would never be able to leave. I've always been selfish and told myself that I would convince you to leave… but I can't do that."
"Oh Nils…" Ninian broke completely away from Rath and brought Nils into her arms, holding him as if he was a lifeline. Nils smiled at her weakly, patted her arm again, and broke away. Then he took her hand and gave it to Rath, who accepted it wordlessly, staring hard at the boy.
An unspoken request passed through them: take care of her.
"Yes," was all Rath said, drawing Ninian closer as she began to weep again. "I wish you luck and speed, Nils. Thank you."
Nils didn't bother to hide the tears that ran openly down his cheek as he spun and walked stiffly to the Dragon's Gate. He passed Lord Eliwood—he had his arms locked tightly around Lyn—and managed to smile at the Lords. As he passed Lord Hector the blue haired Lord sent him a smirk of pride and fatherly affection while Florina cried openly at his side.
"I love you, Nils!" Ninian cried, cocking her head from Rath's chest to look at her brother. Her face broke into a smile and she looked so beautiful, her tear tracks glowing against her skin in the pale light coming from the Dragon's Gate.
The young dragon boy gave a cry—Rath thought it was Ninian's name he heard, but he couldn't be sure—and light consumed him. Finally the light died and the Dragon's Gate closed, leaving no trace of the boy.
Lady Yuki came up and placed at hand on his shoulder. "Let's get her out of here," she suggestion, motioning to Ninian who had began to cry again.
Wordlessly, Rath gathered Ninian into his arms and mounted Khan, who was impatient to leave. As the other members of Lord Eliwood's troupe saddled up and prepared to leave the forsaken place, Rath guided both Ninian and Khan towards the light bursting from the east horizon.
And it shone bright…
"Sacae is only a day away," Rath said after almost a full hour of complete silence. "We'll see its hills soon…"
Ninian smiled softly and snuggled deeper into the cloak he had wrapped around both of them, watching the fire crackle feet away. "I can hardly wait." She sighed deeply, her eyes drifting closed. "Do you think everyone will worry about us? We left so suddenly…"
Rath thought back to a week earlier. Everyone had gathered in Pherae for final goodbyes. Not only that, but they had finally been able to hold a proper memorial service for those who had died. First being the spy Leila, Matthew's lover, following Eliwood's father, Elbert, then Hector's brother, Uther, and finally the Archsage Athos.
It had been grim, ruining the giddy mood that had been upon the troupe since Nergal's defeat. The nomad thought he would never forget the way Matthew's shoulders had shaken, trying his hardest not to cry over Leila because he believed she didn't want him to.
Eliwood had already shed his tears for his father, and for the sake of his weeping mother, hadn't allowed a single one fall during the funeral. Lyn had sobbed softly onto his shoulder, perhaps crying for them both, but the redhead Lord had stood silent and still as stone while reading the words Lady Yuki had insisted be written on the gravestone: Dominus vobiscum.
Then there had been Hector. The big powerful Lord had slumped his shoulders in pain and pressed one of his large hands to his eyes, covering them. Rath would never be sure if he had been crying, but he had made such a sad picture, looking down at the gravestone of his brother, that it didn't matter. Only Florina had dared approach the Lord. She had simply walked over to him and placed her arms around his waist, holding him as he shook.
Athos had been last. Eliwood and Lyn and Hector were still raw about his passing. On his memorial service Florina had refused to let Hector attend, fearing it was too much for him to handle. So Lyn and Eliwood had stood there in Hector's place, wrapped in each other's arms for strength.
When the ceremonies had been done no one had cared much for a celebration. They all went to their respective rooms and slept, or wept, or just reflected on the last few months.
The next day people had began to go their separate ways. Lord Pent and Lady Louise decided to return to the Nabata to go through the remaining things of Lord Athos. Erk would be returning Etruria—with Serra as surprising company. Priscilla had disappeared moments after the final battle, and word had it Heath had gone with her to share the end of their time together.
The Pegasus Knight Farina had surprised everyone when she explained she would be traveling with Dart and his crew as a rare female pirate. By the way Dart had placed a hand on her hip—possessively—he didn't seem so surprised by the money-hungry knight's decision.
Raven had walked out of their camp a day after his sister had taken off, saying something about needing to be alone. Little Rebecca trotted after him, explaining in a hurried voice that he didn't know how to cook and needed her. Raven had said nothing as he threw his arm over her shoulders and guided her through the trees.
Hector had surprised everyone by announcing his engagement to a blushing Florina, his eyes daring anyone to say otherwise. The poor Pegasus Knight's sisters had been worried of course, but Florina had assured them in a shaky voice she had not been pressured into the marriage.
Fiora had decided to return to her homeland of Ilia. She and Kent had a teary farewell, one in which Kent had sworn on his honor as a knight to seek her out in a future time. Fiora had told him to be happy.
Jaffar had disappeared from sight, but no one believed he had left since Nino still resided in the palace. Eliwood extended an offer to live peacefully in one of the villages, and Nino accepted, her face glowing. There was no doubt she would not be living in the village alone.
Isadora and Harken barely left each others' sides, and their time was spent with Lady Eleanora, helping her cope with the loss of her husband. Vadia had left as soon as the dragon had laid down dead, and surprisingly Merlinus had chased after her only to return three days later with a sour face. Legualt had gone off as well, but not before saying a few words of luck and love to Isadora. Dorcas started out for his home in Bern as soon as they had arrived in Pherae, offering Geitz and Barte to travel along.
Oswin and Matthew had returned to Ostia as soon as the memorial services were finished. Matthew had an eerie, dead look on his face and Oswin had thought it best to get the young blonde boy home so he could emotionally recover.
Guy had decided to return to Sacae, winking at both Rath and Ninian, saying he hoped to see them both soon. He had left two days after Oswin and Matthew, held back by Ninian and her questions about Sacae.
Canas had parted way with the team during their journey to Pherae. He was heading up to Ilia to meet his wife and tiny son. Everyone could tell by the look on his face he was happy to be able to see them again.
Hawkeye had slipped quietly away from the group after a few words with Lord Pent and Lady Louise. He had seemed hurt by Athos's passing, but he had said once that the desert and his daughter could always heal his heart.
Sain spent most of his time trying to woo Lady Yuki, but to no avail. She wished him good luck in his services to Lyn and had even gone as far as to kiss his cheek. Then she pulled her cloak around her neck and left him standing there.
Lowen and Marcus had resumed their training in Pherae, with Wil occasionally joining in—though it wasn't often since it was a rough training course. Wil seemed extremely nervous about Rebecca… and maybe a little jealous.
But the biggest surprise of all had come when Lyn and Eliwood announced they would be married within a year's time, after everything had settled down. Their hands had been locked together, their eyes glancing at one another, as they spoke.
And during all this time—two weeks—Rath had hardly left Ninian's side. They decided to leave after both Lyn and Eliwood looked ready to handle everything on their own. Then, without warning, they had slipped into the night.
Now they had curled up against Khan's stomach where the horse had sat to rest and stared into the crackling fire. Ninian sat between Rath's legs, her back pressed against his chest. He had wrapped a blanket around his back and used it to cover them both.
He dipped a kiss onto her silky mane. "Soon we will have to face my father… the Silver Wolf…"
Ninian sighed heavily, turning more fully into his embrace. "What do you think he will make of me… Rath…?" She yawned deeply. "I hope he will like me…"
"He will not have a choice," Rath told her, a small smile coming across his lips, "I will not give him one. Remember, Ninian, I shall marry you as soon as we reach my tribe. Nothing my father says will stop that."
"Oh Rath…" They had decided to be married once Rath had settled things with his father. It had been an unspoken vow at first, but a day into their journey to Sacae Rath had asked her to marry him just to make sure she was on the same track as him.
Ninian had not said no…
The young dragon girl cast her ruby eyes to the sky, smiling at the twinkling stars. Somehow she felt the presence of her brother, smiling down at her from another world. It warmed her heart to think that Nils would be all right without her. He would be with his own people, those who loved him, and for that she was glad. She belonged here, with Rath, in the world she had dreamed off since her youth.
"I think we shall be happy, Rath, for I love you and I would only want you," Ninian whispered, still looking at the stars. She had the urge to tell him what she imagined for them both.
She could see them on the plains, living happily with Rath's tribe—for Rath's father, the Silver Wolf, would not push Rath away like he feared, she knew.
In her vision she could also see the smiling face of a tiny baby girl, so much like Rath's but with little traits that she had passed on. And, most importantly, she felt the happiness. The warmth and the love and the light.
But she didn't tell him. Those visions would come true soon enough and the surprise on his face when they came about was something Ninian did not wish to ruin.
"As I love you." Rath agreed, imagining almost the same thing as Ninian, only the baby girl in his dream looked much more like her mother then Ninian imagined.
Ninian sighed heavily and finally dozed off, her face relaxing. Rath shifted so that they were laying against Khan's belly. When the horse made a noise of protest the soft voice of the nomad soothed him.
In this moment Rath only wanted Ninian. There was no longing for Lyndis and her love, only the completion of having Ninian in his arms. His eyes drooped as he realized he was utterly happy. In that moment everything was perfect. Rath feel into a peaceful sleep, Ninian wrapped tightly in his arms. He pressed a loving kiss to her still lips before giving completely into the darkness that surrounded his vision.
The two lovers slept, breathing with one heart and one soul. In their dreams they did not dream about others whom they had believed they loved, but only of each other and the life they were destined to share.
And in a far away land Nils smiled at the both of them.
A/N: It's over. So sad… and I cannot expressive my sadness on a computer. I am sooooo sad! Soooooo sad! Other than that, can the fluff get anymore… fluffy? I mean, I think I have cavities now. Oh well, considered how depressing everything gets for the next generation, these gives need to get all the fluff they can get!
Upcoming Lizzy Rebel fics: there are several in the works, but the one I think I'll be posting a few chaptered humor fic. I'm not very good a humor (unless its very, very dry) in which the tactician is not a Mary-Sue and her family are all insane… and seem to think they're matchmakers. Scary, ain't it?
You may note that there were two phrases in the story that were in Latin. Since not many people know Latin here are the translations!
in nomine Patris et Filii et Spiritus Santi: In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit
Dominus vobiscum: God be with you
Kratos Aurion: XD Personally, I wanted to see Rath open a can of whoop-ass on Eliwood, but I decided that wasn't very Rath-like. Oh and here's an unsubtle plug. Considering your name, you like ToS, right? I have a one-shot posted (not yet, but really soon) and I would love to have you review it!
angel white: yes, I hate when things get over hyped. Which is why I like Harry and Hermione from Harry Potter (Ron is a bitch) though I'm still clinging to my Draco and Ginny. I'm pretty much unique to a fault, unless I like something before I realize so does everyone else. Like, if the whole world is wearing black than you'll see me in neon green!
montblancerk: there, there. I think it's an actual disease called something-phobia. Maybe meantobephobia? No, just kidding. You've just your opinion and I've got mine! XD They're just completely different.
lzn64: no crying, dear. You'll make me cry! I'm already near tears, aren't I? Besides, Lizzy Rebel isn't done with her Fire Emblem fandom. Not by a long shot. I have tons of one-shots to write and maybe several other works-in-progress.
NoMaDs are MAD: you're so sweet. You've reviewed this, like what, four times? Thanks for defending me from my… er… would be flamer. Nice to know there are some people who like my fic enough to defend it from those who would burn to the ground from flames 'cept that… I dun know if he's really a flamer… hmm…
narugurlee: That's what I thought! And I hate the Eliwood/Ninian pairing. They're both very emotional people and need to balanced by people not so emotional. See? My logic. Hopefully, that faulty logical will undermine the whole Eliwood/Ninian philosophy! Besides, I always thought that if Ninian was Roy's mother that made him half-dragon and that would have come up somewhere in the story. It doesn't.
Macross-Green: Erk/Fiora… hmm… never thought about that, but seems like it could be interesting! I'll defiantly check it out if I have the time! XD I have many fandoms that I write it, too (biggest being the Jak and Daxter one) but I always manage to find some time for Fire Emblem…
Regulus: It angered me that I could only pair Rath with Lyn and Ninian with Eliwood. It didn't have to be Rath/Ninian convo but another love interest would have made me happy. So, in my rage, I took the writer's liberty to… trample all over the Fire Emblem franchise and ew… I think I got Marcus on my boot.
fire emblem fan: hmm… you intrigue me. You said flame in your first review so I assume you flamed my story… and yet, you don't seem like a flamer. Why don't you write in all capitals letters with poor spelling and slang? Why aren't you insulting my mother and my IQ level? Why aren't you telling me to burn in hell? See… so… weird…
"Now I know why they call it eternity. Everything around here takes forever…"