Disclaimer: Many things I own… Fire Emblem is not one of them
Valor was nothing more than a tiny line across the horizon, slashing black on the grayish blue of the morning sky.
The waves rocked the boat, holding it gently in its embrace. Without Nergal's presence haunting Valor it seemed the entire ocean had settled. On the journey to Valor it had been rough, the sea spewing its worse in protest of their coming, but now it rocked them like a mother pushing against the wooden leg of a cradle.
The soft caress of the wind ruffled his hair, running its gossamer fingers through the deep crimson of his locks. He pushed at the short, trimmed tresses with his fingers, uncovered by the gloves over his palms.
Everyone else was down below with Captain Fargus, drinking ale and eating stale bread until their stomachs ached. He, of course, wanted no part of that. He was a knight, a soldier, and a vessel to a princess. Such things were beneath him.
But that was not the reason he had escaped from the galley of the ship. He had needed fresh air, time to think. Though the immediate danger to the world was now obsolete there still were many problems he himself faced.
Should he go back to Caelin? After seeing so much of the world Caelin seemed small and unwelcoming. There was so much of the world he had yet to see and, until recently, he hadn't realized how much of it he wanted to see.
"Kent?" a voice called, soft and soothing, carried to him by the swaying breeze.
He turned and addressed the owner. A young woman, two years his junior, stood at his side with two mugs in either hand. The wind played with the soft aquamarine of her hair, held vainly to her head by a thin white string tied around her forehead. Two thick strands had escaped their confidences to frame the sides of her face.
"Fiora," he said in greeting and leaned against the railing of the ship at his elbows. He thought that the Falcoknight must have been cold. The sea was calmer now, indeed, but there was no denying the chill in the air. Winter was moving in and fast and she stood on the deck wearing a small white dress with high boots and shoulder and chest armor. Nothing more.
With a soft smile that lit up her normally sad eyes she handed him one of the mugs. It was steaming tea, not ale as he suspected.
Kent was pleased. Of course Fiora would not lower herself to drink ale like the others below.
"I am not surprised you're here and I am relieved." She pressed her back against the railing, balancing herself, so she could tilt her head and look at him. "The others are degrading themselves with the ale they're consuming. My sister Farina especially, even little Florina has had herself too many. And even, I'm afraid, your lady Lyndis."
"I would chide her, but no doubt Sain put her up to it. It doesn't matter. She shall suffer for it come tomorrow," he replied
"Are you returning to Caelin when we land in Badon?" she asked and turned her head away from his.
Kent knew what she was asking and he did not know how to reply. He and Fiora had become close during their journey alongside the Lords. She had become his partner in the battle and he knew that with her at his side he could fight with more skill, keenness, and power than he would by himself.
"I am duty bound to Lady Lyndis." He did not bother to hide the bitterness in his words. The regret. "If she returns to Caelin, and no doubt she will, then I must follow… no matter what I feel…"
"Of course, Kent. I would expect nothing else from you." She smiled at him, but it was sad and held all the pain and grief she would deny if questioned on. "Your loyalty and dutifulness is one of the things I admire most about you."
But he had asked her to stay by his side, hadn't he? Kent hadn't thought about the difficulties and obstacles that would stand in the way later. He had only thought about how much he wanted her to be there. Everything else had faded to the background.
"And what of you, Fiora?" he said after a long pause, a gentle silence that was not awkward but peaceful. They were dutiful knights both and appreciated the silence and peace of it more than anyone else.
"I shall return to Ilia. Those who were in my Fifth wing deserve the proper burial and their families… have the right to know." Fiora had come to terms with the loss of her team during her journey with the Lords, but it still left an ache in her heart whenever she thought about it.
"Fiora…" Kent sighed and reached for her hand. It was improper for them both, but neither pulled away. In fact, Fiora leaned against him, her head dipping to his shoulder as her body moved with her own sigh.
"Kent… this journey… this journey with you has been—"
"Fiora, I know. I know, Fiora. Don't say it. I feel… the same way," he answered and tightened his hold on her fingers.
"If only we were not tied to our countries, Kent. If only. But I could not abandon my Ilia and I would not expect you to abandon your Caelin." Fiora looked into his eyes, soft ocean blue meeting warm, liquid brown.
"No. It would be… undutiful," Kent agreed.
"Undutiful indeed," Fiora replied.
The silence wrapped around them. Emotions overwhelmed him, washed into his stomach and into his head and heart. He wanted to tell Fiora what was pushing against him, but what he himself wasn't sure what it was.
But he remained silent because he knew no matter what he felt for the Falcoknight he would be leaving for Caelin and she to Ilia. No matter their feelings, they were duty bound to separate and return to the countries that they loved.
It still was hard.
"What's on your mind, Kent?" Sain asked and nudged his friend.
Kent didn't answer. He was focused only on sparring against his opponent, also his best friend.
They had been back in Caelin for almost a month now. Lyn was spending time with her grandfather as his health slowly declined and Hector and Eliwood had returned to their own realms to set in order the affairs left behind by the deceased Lord Uther and Lord Elbert.
The team that had saved the world had separated to go off in their directions, start new lives. But he, Kent, was back where he had started the adventure almost two years ago. Caelin. His home that was suffocating him.
"Ow, Kent!" Sain rubbed his shoulder and pushed away the hard wood of Kent's training sword. Since they were simply sparring they had not put on armor. The wood of the swords could do no permanent damage, but was heavy enough to leave ugly bruises where they landed.
"Sorry," he said absently and threw the wooden sword away in disgust.
"Okay now you have to tell me what's wrong," Sain said as he continued to nurse his aching shoulder. "It's not like you to be so… un-Kent-like when we're training. Ow… I think it's going to scar my perfect skin! Oh, what will my ladies think?"
"I worry for Lord Hausen," Kent said and almost choked on the lie. Or half-truth. He was worried about the Marquess, but he knew his true source of anguish was the fact that a certain blue haired Falcoknight was with him no longer.
Sain's usually carefree attitude left him and he frowned in a very uncharacteristic manner. "Yes, Lyndis worries as well. I do not think… the Marquess has much time left. I wonder… what she will do?"
Kent did not answer. He walked past Sain and moved into the gardens of the palace. Lyndis and the Marquess where there and he approached them slowly, allowing them time to adjust to his intrusion.
The Marquess's tired, worn face shone with the energy it took him to keep standing by his granddaughter's side. Lyndis's face reflected the worry and knowledge that she knew exactly what was happening to her aging grandfather.
"Kent," the Marquess said with respect in his voice. Kent could not forget the fact that when the court of Caelin frowned upon a young orphan becoming a knight, the Marquess had scoffed them and had become the boy's only supporter. "What brings you here?"
"I came to see how you fared, milord," Kent answered and bowed stiffly at his hip, a hand behind his back.
"Fine," the Marquess answered instantly but the way Lyndis bit her lip told Kent he was far from it.
Lyndis and Kent shared a look of worry. The Marquess Hausen was getting sicker and sicker and it was not some sinister plot causing it.
It was time and time had no master.
Another month passed and the Marquess's health only increased in its depression. Death was whispered around the mansion, an uninvited guest. Servants and soldiers and nobles tiptoed along the stone halls, as if afraid to arouse Death's irritation and cause the Marquess to sleep into his embrace.
Kent was among them. He lay awake in his bed in the soldier's barracks of the castle and thought of Marquess Hausen. Kent thought of how much he owed the Marquess, how much he meant to him, how the Marquess shaped his life.
And now he was fading.
On the first day of the third month since Eliwood's troupe had separated Kent had begun his bimonthly inspection of the squires. They all had eager, young faces that reflected youth and hope and life. Kent knew the older knights saw themselves in those young faces.
"Sir!" a young squire shouted and pointed into the air. "Look! A Pegasus Knight!"
Florina? Was he first thought and then shook it off. No, Florina was in Ostia planning her wedding to Lord Hector—a relationship he didn't understand and didn't try to; some things were just too odd.
But then he took notice of the colour of her hair, blending so perfectly with the sky. He nodded to his squires to show him that they were safe and then walked stiffly towards the landing Falcoknight, trying to appear to be calm and collected as she landed.
When he reached her he couldn't stop himself from grabbing her waist and swinging her off the pegasus, holding her against his armor plated body. Fiora's aquamarine hair tickled his nose but he did not push it away.
"Fiora? What are you doing here?" He had, in fact, resigned himself to living alone and without her for the rest of his life. His heart beat wildly against his chest. All the emotions he had banked, sent away with her, came rushing up and choked him. He held her tight, afraid she would disappear.
"I came to see my sister, Florina, and I could not resist seeing you. Oh, Kent!" she cried and wrapped her arms around his waist and held him as if she would never let go.
Kent pulled away and stroked her face, a part of his mind surprised by the tender care he took with her but a stronger part not caring at all. "How long can you stay?"
"Not for long. I must return to Ilia. We have had a harsh winter and bartering with merchants from the north is necessary. The lairds have asked that I do it. I cannot stay long, but if only I could!" Fiora pressed her face against his shoulder, not caring that it was covered with hard, cold red armor.
"Lord Hausen would be pleased to meet you, I've no doubt. Please, Fiora, we have so much to speak of. Stay with me… at least for a day." Kent wanted to say forever and it bubbled against his throat. He swallowed the word and pushed it away.
"Kent… I… would like nothing more," Fiora answered and smiled into his face.
His heart continued to pound.
Fiora and Kent spent the day setting by a small lake on the edge of Caelin's boarder. They traded stories of their time apart from one another. Fiora spoke of Florina's engagement to Hector, her worry of it, and Farina becoming a pirate to be closer to her man Dart.
Kent told her of Lord Hausen's health and the worry Lyndis had. He told her of Sain's sudden obsession with a little village girl he had met upon their return.
As sun began to set they returned to the mansion and met up with a chiding Lyndis and a snickering Sain. Lyndis rebuked Kent for not informing her of Fiora's arrival and then she demanded that both Kent and Fiora join her and her grandfather for dinner.
"Lady Lyndis…" Fiora said and smiled, pure happiness on her face that Lyndis would continue to offer her friendship.
Kent was pleased to see her happy but at the same time he could not help but feel a little dissatisfied at the interrupting by Lyndis. He had wanted to spend his time with Fiora only.
And now it looked like he had to share her.
"Dame Fiora," Lord Hausen wheezed, offering the Falcoknight a smile from his craggy face. "I've heard about you from Lyndis and Sain. I'm pleased to meet you."
The room was dim, most of the candles in it extinguished to protect Lord Hausen's delicate eyesight. The Marquess did not care much for whole food so they ate chilled soup, which was actually perfect for such a warm day such as the one that was upon them.
Fiora smiled back at the lord, politely showing the proper respect for someone of a higher station. "Thank you, Marquess Hausen. I have heard of you from Kent."
Kent took a small sip of his soup and scanned the long table they sat at. Lord Hausen sat at the head, of course, and Lyndis and Sain sat on his right. Fiora and Kent had been seated on his left.
Sain and Lyndis were snickering across the table, sharing knowing glances, then smiling at Kent. The said Crimson Shield gave them each a glare. Lyndis may have been his superior but she still was vulnerable to his chiding and there was no excuse for Sain to escape.
"So," Lyndis said and ignored Kent completely. "Fiora, how long to do you think you'll be staying with us?"
Fiora bit her lip then and frowned into her cold, greenish soup. "I… I must leave on the morrow. Forgive me, but Ilia requires my service. I was only able to visit because my sister insisted that I stop by."
"Oh, but Dame Fiora!" Sain shouted suddenly, standing. "You mustn't! Just think of what our parting would cause! I do not think that my heart could take it!"
"Sain…" Fiora sighed, but did not continue.
Lord Hausen gave a laugh. "Sain, your antics will never cease to humor me. But I tire. I know how young the night is, but I must sleep."
"Of course, my lord. Allow me to escort you." Sain stood, his usual carefree face going serious, and offered the Marquess his arm. The old man leaned on it heavily, almost wheezing with the effort it took to remain standing.
"I do not know… what I will do when Grandfather…" Lyndis trailed off and covered her face with her hands, unable to continue.
Kent lowered his own head, grief clutching his heart. But he glanced up in surprise as Fiora reached out and wrapped her own hand around his under the table. Then she reached across and grabbed Lyndis's.
"Lady Lyndis, allow me to be so bold. Losing someone… important to you is hard, but remember that you have friends. You taught me that." Fiora's grip on Kent's fingers tightened. "When we first met I would have gladly ridden off to my death. I did not know what else I could do. You, my sister, and Kent taught me that I can do so much more with my life. That by living I avenge my fallen comrades."
"Fiora…" he managed, unable to say anything else. His heart moved against his tunic, against his ribs, and threatened to jump into his throat.
"Thank you, Fiora. I understand. I will miss Grandfather, but for his sake I will continue to live. That is the duty of children." Lyndis released Fiora's hand and stood. "I will see my Grandfather to sleep." She did this every night, in case her Grandfather passed away. She did not want him to pass alone.
When she was gone, the clicks of her heels receding into the hallways, Kent reached out and pulled Fiora into his arms. Her arms encircled his neck and she trembled against him. Kent pressed his face into her hair and inhaled. She smelled of a rare fruit that grew only in Ilia.
"Kent, it has been the way I felt for so long," she admitted and he felt her hands in his hair, twining.
"Fiora… Fiora… if only, if only things were different." Kent drew away and looked into her eyes.
"I wish things were different too, Kent. Perhaps… in a few years…" Fiora shook her head and allowed the statement to go unfinished.
But Kent did not think he could survive without Fiora near him. He did not know if he could even let her go in the morning. He did not think he could bear being separated from her again.
His duty was to stay with Caelin and so… he had to.
"I wish I could come to see you in Ilia," Kent admitted as Fiora saddled up on her Pegasus.
"It would take you weeks to do so, Kent. As it is, it takes me a day on my Pegasus." Fiora patted the flank of her winged horse, allowing him to stretch out his limbs, getting a feel for the strength of the wind.
"I know, Fiora. It is a wish I carry in my heart and cannot remove," Kent reached out and touched her hand, stroking the fingers that stayed uncovered despite her gloves.
"Oh Kent… please, let us not make this any harder than it already is. I must go." With what resembled a choking cry, Fiora pulled away and kicked her Pegasus in the sides. They took off, slipping into the sky.
Kent watched her go, hand still outstretched. He watched her until she was nothing more than a black dote in the blue sky. Then he watched until he could not see her anymore.
With his heart suspiciously aching he turned and walked back to the mansion.
Two months passed without any change. Kent went about his duties, training the squires, overseeing Caelin's running with Lyndis, and watching Lord Hausen's health slowly decreased.
But on the third day of the third month Lord Hausen passed away.
He had just awakened, dreaming of Fiora once more. Sleep and pain clouded his eyes as he dressed and made way for breakfast, planning on an early morning training to dispel the thoughts clogging his mind.
Lyndis met him along the way, tears filming her eyes. She looked tired and Kent knew she had gone yet another night without sleep.
"Kent… oh, Kent!" Lyndis cried and Kent's stomach dropped. Somehow he had awakened knowing. He had awoken groggy and empty, like something had slipped away from him during the night. His youth and childhood stolen away from him, disappearing into the night like thieves.
"He died during the night. He was asleep. Kent… he's gone… my grandfather is gone. Father Sky has taken him. I do not know… what to do." Lyndis dropped to her knees, the strength she had always carried with her like a shield leaving her.
"Inform the people of Caelin. They must know. Sain and I will prepare Lord Hausen." Lord Hausen had been a father, a grandfather, a mentor, everything; it was Kent's duty to bury him. It was the least he could do.
"Yes, yes, you're right. They have the right… to know…" Lyndis slipped into her room beside Lord Hausen's to tidy herself and prepare herself to face the people and help them mourn her grandfather's passing. Perhaps she would try to dig out her strength.
Kent walked the halls, slowly, sluggishly, numbly until he reached the large, double doors of Lord Hausen's room. Sain was there, crouched down on the balls of his heels with his back pressed against the door. His head was in his hands.
He glanced up at Kent as he approached and offered him a weary smile. "Lord Hausen died with a smile on his face. He must have been dreaming of his wife."
"Sain, you know what we must do…" Kent stated.
"Yes. I would have no one but ourselves handle Lord Hausen," Sain agreed and stood, brushing off his armor. "Let us go."
He nodded and followed the green-clad knight.
The day before the funeral, five days after Lord Hausen's passing, Lyndis called both Sain and Kent to the Marquess's old quarters.
"I've decided," she said as they stood before her, hands clasps behind their backs. "I'm giving Caelin over to Ostia. Hector and Florina will look after it."
"Lady Lyndis!" Sain cried, scandalized.
"I could not rule this place, Sain, Kent. You know it. I know little or nothing about ruling a country by myself… and I couldn't with such sad memories." Lyndis looked away, coming to terms with herself. "I am not sure whether I will return to Sacae or not, but I know that I cannot stay in Caelin."
"And, Lady Lyndis, what of us?" Kent questioned, his voice neutral.
"Hector will not doubt offer you both positions. Kent, I'll suggest you for steward and Sain for knight general," Lyndis answered.
"No, Lady Lyndis. I cannot," Sain said as soon as Lyndis had spoken. "My life has been Caelin but I wish to see the world now… and I too would be haunted by memories of Lord Hausen."
"And you, Kent?"
He knew what he should say. He should accept Lyndis's offer. He should become the steward for Caelin. He owed Hausen, he owed Caelin. It was his duty.
…And yet he held back.
"I do not know, Lady Lyndis. Give me time to think upon it," Kent answered.
"Of course, Kent," Lyndis allowed a small smile to touch her lips, but it was sad and resembled the one Fiora had worn during the journey.
"Lyn! Lyn! Oh, Lyn!" Florina barely managed to hop off her Pegasus before she threw her arms around Lyndis's neck, crying.
"Florina," Lyndis held her tight, drawing the warmth and comfort of friendship the lavender haired Pegasus Knight offered.
"We would have gotten here faster," Hector replied as he dismounted and handed the reins of his horse to a servant. "But an annoying situation arrived in Ostia and it had to be solved before we leaved. Bloody nobles!"
Florina backed up and stood beside her fiancée. Kent was amazed at the pair they made. The big, strapping young man and his tiny, lithe young woman. And yet, somehow, he could not imagine them any other way, any more perfect.
Above them the sky was gloomy and gray, heralding the onslaught of rain. They stood at the family crypt. Lord Hausen's wrapped body had already been placed inside. All that was left was the ceremony, which took two hours to commence. Afterwards there would be a reception, to honor the Marquess.
There was another sound of a wild whiny and everyone turned to address it. Eliwood, seated on his mighty white stallion, with Marcus and Isadora and Harken trailing behind had arrived.
"Eliwood!" Lyndis cried and made her way over to him.
The red haired Lordling swung off his horse and pulled Lyndis into his arms. "Lyndis, I am sorry. I am sorry." He said, understanding her pain, knowing what it felt like to lose someone you love better than he had before.
It was improper of him to hold the princess of Caelin such and Kent gave a small cough to let the Lordling know it.
Blushing, Eliwood pulled away and smiled sheepishly into her face. "Forgive me, I…"
"Eliwood…" Lyndis sighed as well.
"Always like to make an entrance, don't you, Eliwood?" Hector joked, trying his best to dispel the heavy air looming over them.
A day after Kent had made his decision.
It had kept him up for hours, this decision. Part guilt, part worry, part excitement. Caelin was not his home anymore. Something else was calling to him. A new home and his heart would not let him ignore it.
Indeed, it was his duty to see that Caelin was safe, but in Hector's possession it would be. There was a time when his wants needed to come first. When his duty had to be overlooked. He had so often allowed his duty to overshadow his true yearnings and it had caused chips in his heart. He could not, would not, push away this yearning. Doing so would destroy him.
There was a fine line between duty and love. All his life Kent had been duty bound, but he was changing that with a few words.
He strode into the breakfast hall, where Lyndis and Eliwood and Hector and Florina dinned.
"Lady Lydnis," he said in all seriousness as he entered, causing everyone to raise their eyes to his. "I have made my decision concerning the subject we spoke of earlier."
"Yes, your stewardship," Lyndis sent Hector a scowl, as if she suspected he might protest to it. Hector gave her a disinterested shrug. 'Kent was as good as any' it was meant to say. "Please."
"I decline." Lyndis did not look surprised, nor did she look pleased. She looked neutral, if anything. A bystander watching a play from her seat. "Like Sain, I have spent my life in Caelin. Now, I wish to see the world."
"Yes, I think Grandfather would have wanted that, Kent."
"Kent, I have nothing but respect for you," Eliwood said and shared in Lyndis's smile. Kent felt his heart burst with pride. Eliwood, who had saved the world, respected him. "I wish you luck."
"Kent, please visit Ilia on your journeys." Florina did not say why, but her shining eyes hinted at it. "Despite its frozen lands it can be beautiful."
"Didn't that General of yours settle there, Lyndis?" Hector asked, picking at his food. It was not meat and Hector was, at heart, a meat eater. "What was his name? Wallen? Wallabee? Wallace?"
"Wallace!" Lyndis snapped back and Eliwood laughed.
"Lyndis, I plan to leave tomorrow morning so I request a leave from duties to prepare my things," Kent said, breaking into the conversation.
"Of course, Kent. Eliwood and Hector are here so they can help, can't they?" Lyndis voice gave them no space to argue.
He turned and strode towards the door, pausing as Lyndis voice called, "Kent? Where will your first stop be?"
A real smile crossed his lips, a smile that covered his whole face, and Kent turned his head to look at his former vessel. "I think I'll go to Ilia."
Then he left.
Kent left before dawn. He didn't wake anyone up as he left, he didn't let anyone know he was leaving. He simply slipped out. He wished Lyndis the best of luck in his head and had a sneaking suspicion she would not be going back to Sacae but would find residency in Pherae.
Eliwood might not give her a choice.
He did not say goodbye to Sain. Words were not necessary for their relationship. He and Sain had been best friends, no matter how much they argued. Sain would understand Kent's reasons and Sain probably would have done the same thing.
So he began the long journey to Ilia. It was not easy. There were many bandits and vagabonds that tried to take advantage of a lone rider such as himself. Unfortunately, known stood a chance against the Crimson Shield of Caelin.
But Ilia was cold when he arrived weeks after departing. So cold that it ripped through his armor and settled on his bones.
Fiora had once told him of her small home on the rocky shores of Ilia and he headed there. It took weeks and the cold was bitter despite it being the middle of the year. It made his eyes sore and his body aching.
It wasn't hard to find Fiora's house, luckily. The vivid image she had painted for him made it impossible to miss. It was white, small—but large enough for a family to be raised—and sat high on the cliff, overlooking the sea that would freeze come winter. Near the water crashing against the rocks, vainly trying to reach the lush green of the house's grass.
Kent found it easy to imagine Fiora standing on the wooden porch of the house, watching proudly as her sisters, Farina and Florina, romped. It made his chest swell to the point of pain.
He stumbled up the hill, all energy leaving his. His breath hissed out in short gasps. He hadn't realized until the end had come into sight just how much strength trekking through Ilia had taken from.
Dismounting his horse, he patted the thick mane of the beast. He murmured words into the horse's pointed ears and pulled him up the hill. His poor stallion had been drained as well, having ended up acting as a buffer from the cold when Kent had not been able to find an inn.
The horse watched as Kent pulled himself up onto the porch and leaned against the doorframe. He managed to rasp his knuckles against the thick wood of the threshold before all energy left him and he fell against the door.
It opened moments later and he saw Fiora's shocked face before he collapsed into a heap at her feet.
"Kent?" he thought he heard her scream. Warm fingers touched his chilled face and he gave a long, suffering shudder. "Kent!"
"Fiora?" He managed to open his eyes and stare into her wide, beautiful blue eyes. He reached out with what little strength her face had given him, touching her smooth cheeks. "I love you."
He had known it from the moment she had said 'are you Kent' and it been heightened during their time together and strengthened during their time apart. But he was stubborn, and serious, and so morally pure that he had not realized it until he stood at her feet shaking with the cold.
And yet nothing more could be perfect. For the two of them, Kent and Fiora, this was the only way they could ever come together. One had to give up their duties. Fiora had given up much, sacrificed much, while Kent had held steadfast to his duties and promises. Now, he had given those up all to be with her. For the hope of new duties and new promises and new relationships.
"There is a fine line between love and duty…" he heard himself mutter before he completely passed out.
He woke on a soft bed, light streaming against his eyelids. The sound of crashing waves reached his ears as he pulled himself from sleep.
It would be, he decided, wonderful to wake up to the sun and the ocean and an aquamarine haired Falcoknight sleeping besides him.
Speaking of whom…
A smell reached his nose. Meat burning over a fire. He swung himself out of the bed, which must have been one of Fiora's younger sisters' beds since he doubted she would be brazen enough to place him in her own bed and judging by the smallness of the actual bed and room.
His body was aching as he dragged himself down the stairs. Muscles that had clenched from the bitter cold screamed in protest and he groaned.
Fiora was in a small kitchen, bending over an open stove. Kent was surprised that she managed to find wood to burn, so close to the sea, but then he remembered the forests no more then a few yards away from the house.
"Fiora…" he managed, his voice hoarse.
She turned, dropping a large wood chunk she had been intending to throw into the fire. "Kent! You're awake. What are you doing here?"
Without an answer he moved forward, forcing his limbs to obey. Then he did what he had wanted to do for what he felt like an eternity.
He kissed her.
Kent pressed a hand to the small of Fiora's back and tipped her. Fiora's hand rose to wrap around his neck and hold him, moaning against his mouth. He pressed his tongue against her lips and she parted them, accepting him and everything he had to offer.
When he managed to drag himself away from her she didn't let go. "Kent, what are you doing here?" Her voice was breathy and panting.
"I am no longer in service of Caelin." He did not say that Lord Hausen was dead. He was not ready to revisit the pain. "I have no home."
"You have a home, Kent." She cupped his face and pressed a tender kiss to his mouth. "If Caelin is no longer your home than you will live here with me."
"Fiora, I love you." He was not shamed to say it. In fact, he thought perhaps if she allowed him to tell her everyday he would die a happy man.
"Kent, yes, you did not need to say it. I have loved you for so long." She kissed him again, their passions twining.
"I will live here with you, Fiora," Kent answered and stroked her face. "Ilia has few land-based fighters, yes? And I know a little of bartering. Perhaps I could find myself work in those areas."
"We will find something, Kent."
"Fiora, there is one more thing. Marry me. I wish to spend the rest of my life with you, Fiora. I wish to have children with you." Kent held her against him.
"Oh, Kent…" Fiora sighed. "You did not need to ask. It is a dream I have had for so long… so long…"
Kent scooped Fiora up into his arms and spun her, round, round, round. Fiora's pearls of laughter filled the room.
He set her on her feet and kissed, a kiss full of promise and love and life and the future they would have together.
There is a fine line between duty and love. Kent was often forced to choose between the two. And duty had always won out.
But now Kent chose love, love for Fiora. He wanted a family with her. He wanted to have children with aquamarine hair and brandy coloured eyes with her. He wanted to grow old with her. He wanted to live in this house by the sea, their own private little world separated from everything else.
Love was no duty and as Kent held Fiora against him he swore that he would no longer let duty control his life. What he did he would do for love. He would let love drive him for he had ignored it long enough.
Fiora was no duty. She was a gift.
Word Count: 5954
Time: three hours
Author: Lizzy Rebel
Couples: Kent/Fiora, implied Lyn/Eliwood, Dart/Farina, and Hector/Florina
Characters/style: Kent/Fiora romance piece
Author's Notes: Been a while, eh? I actually had this written a long time ago, but I only managed to post it now. Kent and Fiora are my favourite characters and my favourite couple (and surprise). Well, canon anyway (I really like Rath/Ninian, so sue me). And I was disappointed by the lack of fics out there about them. So here's my answer to it!