Copyright, Aviatrix8, 2004. Fire Emblem and all related characters are property of Nintendo et al., and are used without permission.

This story sort of came about from a desire to cheer up Raven, somehow... So, my solution was this little bit of Lucius/Raven fluff. I'm not sure if the characterization is accurate, but... I did write this in just a few hours...

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Fire Emblem fanfic:

"Sometimes, That's All You Need..."

by Avi

The mercenary known only to his travelling companions as Raven stood at the edge of a deep wood, staring across the waters of an icy lake. He had wandered out into the forest alone for a little privacy; the bustle of the encampment of Lord Eliwood's ever-growing army could be stifling at times, and Raven preferred to brood in solitude.

All of a sudden, there was the sound of something stumbling in the underbrush behind him... The auburn-haired mercenary found himself reaching for his sword; his grip tightened on the hilt as the sound came ever closer...

But then, Raven's grip on his sword relaxed, and his shoulders untensed. A look of irritation crossed his face.

"What do you want, Lucius?" the mercenary snapped tersely, without turning around. He could sense a slight figure walking out of the bushes behind him.

"I just wanted to on check you, Lord Raym-- I mean, Raven," answered the monk's voice, sounding a bit hurt. The mercenary could hear the young spellcaster brushing leaves off his robes. "You know, you really shouldn't wander so far away from the encampment like this..."

"I can take care of myself," replied Raven, shortly. "You should worry more about walking into the woods by yourself, monk."

"I suppose that's true..." said Lucius, sheepishly. "How did you know it was me, anyways?"

"Lucius, you're lousy at sneaking up on people... The racket you made back there could've raised Eliwood's army up at arms."

"I suppose that's why I'm a monk rather than a thief," replied the blond man lightly. He then cleared his throat self-consciously.

"Why are you out here all alone... Yet again, might I add?" asked the monk pointedly.

"That's none of your concern," Raven gruffly responded; he hadn't even bothered to look at his friend, yet. Lucius heaved a grave sigh.

"Must you always dwell on the past, Raven...?" began the blond man slowly. "I know what happened to your parents was painful beyond belief, but..."

"Cut the sermon, monk," said the mercenary curtly. "I came here, by myself, for a reason... Now, leave me alone."

"You don't have to carry the burden by yourself, you know," pointed out Lucius quietly.

When Raven remained stonily silent, the monk sighed and turned to leave... At least, that's what it seemed like to the mercenary, whose back was still turned against his old friend.

Suddenly, there was a shift of movement, and Raven sensed someone standing behind him... As he was about to turn around, he felt arms reach around his waist from behind, and encircle him; the mercenary nearly drew his sword reflexively, when he realized, with a start, what was going on.

"Lucius..." he began tentatively. "Wh... What are you doing?"

"I'm hugging you," said Lucius, matter-of-factly. Raven felt the monk rest his head upon his back, and began to flush in embarassment. "Is there something wrong with that?" he continued, innocently.

"But... What if someone should see us like this..?" the mercenary found himself stammering.

"Then they would see two old friends comforting each other in their time of need," answered Lucius, in a level tone. "Besides, you've wandered so convieniently out into the middle of nowhere, so that there's nobody else around." The monk then released his hold upon the mercenary, and turned to face him, to meet his gaze frankly.

"Even if there was anyone else around to watch us, I wouldn't care," said the young blond firmly.

And in a gesture that caught Raven completely off-guard, Lucius winked at him.

"Besides..." continued the monk, his blue eyes sparkling with what looked suspiciously like concealed amusement. "You looked like you really needed a hug."

Then, humming a cheerful hymn under his breath, Lucius headed back into the woods, leaving Raven to his thoughts. This was fortunate, because the mercenary couldn't decide whether to strangle the monk, or break down crying... Or possibly, hug him back. Possibly, all of the above.

And yet... Despite the hate still boiling in his heart, Raven couldn't help but admit that for a single, shining moment, the burden of his anger had been lifted, if only briefly...

The mercenary found himself staring away from the depths of the lake before him, and up into the clear, blue sky.

"It's amazing what a little hug can do, sometimes..." he mused.

END

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