Chris: Ahem. This is a birthday fic for Min the Noodle. Why? Because she reviewed a ton of my stories a looong time ago, so I checked up on her stuff and found out it was pretty good. A couple of reviews later, she started writing again, starting with Priscilla's Gift, which was a great piece of work.

Anyway, this is just because she's been such a loyal and longtime fan. And she's a great writer in her own respect. Read her stuff and review. Seriously. Nothing uplifts a writer more than knowing people read your stories. So, in my usual style, here is a one-shot for Min the Noodle!

Disclaimer: Don't own Fire Emblem.


Painting Portraits

Forde swung his sword lightly at his foe, hearing his own sword clash against his opponent's. Quickly untangling their swords, the two jumped back before charging again. The blond, ponytailed cavalier swung his sword horizontally and his enemy moved his sword to intercept. Forde smirked and quickly changed the style of his blow so it was aimed vertically instead of sideways. His opponent was caught off guard and feebly tried to swing his sword back in line but it was too late. Forde's sword clanged against his opponent's helmet.

"I win, Kyle!" Forde sheathed his blade and smiled, sweat glistening on his brow. His opponent removed the helmet and grimaced.

"You just got lucky." Kyle sheathed his sword as well. "Stupid sword trick of yours."

Forde patted his friend heavily on the back, grinning cheerfully. "You're just sore."

"Of course I'm not." Kyle grumbled and looked over his olive-green armor. "Great. Look at all these dents. Now I have to fix my armor as well." The cavalier shook his armor off and looked at it dismally.

"You have to fix your armor? Look at mine!" Forde slid the pieces of metal off of his arm as well. There were numerous scratches and dents in it. "This will take me a year to finish!"

Kyle smiled briefly. "Suuuure. I remember those. That scratch you got when a tree branch hit you in the stomach while you were sleeping. That dent came from when you fell off your horse and fell onto a rock. And that stain came from your painting, didn't it?"

Forde chuckled half-heartedly. "Yeah…Heh heh…I should be more careful. But it's just so nice out! How can a man not enjoy such beauty?"

Kyle frowned. "Remember, Forde. Our duty is to protect our lords and make sure they come to no harm. They are the future of our country."

"Sure, sure." Forde waved his partner off. "Don't worry about a thing."

"I hope not." Kyle walked off, presumably to meet the camp blacksmith, who had no name. People often wondered about that. I mean, he's the blacksmith. He should have a name. But nooo….The blacksmith didn't have a name. Even if he was the one who repaired their armor, fixed horseshoes, and made random trinkets for people. But enough about the nameless blacksmith.

Forde watched his partner walked off and chuckled. "Kyle, you're too uptight." The blond cavalier looked at the bright, blue sky and at the lush, green trees standing nearby. His mouth twitched into a wide smile and he dashed off to his tent to gather his painting equipment. A couple minutes later, he was back at the same spot with his easel, his canvas, his paints, and his brushes. And lots of water. It was hot, you know.

The cavalier hmmed for a while, tapping his chin and arranging the canvas to his liking. After he finished, he mixed a bit of blue and white paint to get the color he desired. He slowly moved his brush over the canvas, painting the bright afternoon sky. Forde was so involved in his task that he didn't notice someone creep up behind him.

"Hey Forde."

"Huh?" Forde almost jumped and barely managed to stop himself before he swung his hand all over the canvas, thus ruining the landscape. He turned to this unseen interruption.

"Oh, I'm sorry!" Eirika, the princess of Renais, stumbled forward. She looked slightly flustered and she was blushing slightly.

"There's no problem." Forde smiled. "What do you want, my lady?"

"Don't call me that. I hate putting on airs."

"Well, of course, Eirika." Forde smiled again. "How can I help?"

Eirika smiled brightly, her eyes sparkling. "I was just passing by and I saw you painting. I was interested by it." The princess brushed back some of her long, sea-blue hair.

Forde let out a smile of gratitude. "Ah! I'm glad to see someone show some appreciation for my work!"

Eirika giggled slightly. "I've got to go. I hear Ephraim calling me…I'll be back to watch you paint, okay?" She dashed off, waving farewell to Forde, who chuckled.

"Such exuberance…Heh heh…" Forde shook his head and positioned his brush over the canvas. The cavalier was about to continue paiting the beautiful sky, but something stopped him. He turned backwards and looked at the spot where Eirika left, envisioning the princess in front of him. Murmuring to himself, he turned back to his work, painting the afternoon sky, which seemed to be as bright as Eirika's hair.

---

"How do you create these paintings anyway?" Eirika looked over Forde's shoulder as he was painting, this time showing a landscape of the whole army camp.

"I don't know. I just see something that looks memorable and I have an urge to paint." Forde chatted with Eirika as he added the red of Ewan's hair. The novice was currently testing his magical powers and scribbling down notes onto a small notebook that Lute promptly set fire to a couple seconds later.

Forde sighed. "I am not changing the whole landscape just because Lute is a pyromaniac. I'll just pretend that never happened." The blond haired man continued painting, touching up parts of the painting as he continued his art.

"Hey Forde. All I ever see if you doing the scenery. Why don't you make portraits of people?" Eirika asked quizzically.

"Eh, I don't know. I just don't feel like doing portraits. I don't know why. It just seems that there isn't a person alive that can compare with the beautiful scenery." Forde mumbled.

Eirika nodded, her eyes downcast. "Oh…I see…Well, I hope you feel like doing portraits soon! Cause I'd like one…"

"Huh?" Forde didn't turn, too intent on finishing his painting to pay attention.

"Nothing!" Eirika let out a fake laugh. "Nothing at all…" She looked at the ground and then back at the landscape. "Well, I'd better go. I'll see you later, okay?"

"Sure!"

Eirika walked off, humming to herself. Forde continued with his painting and he added the last touches. He placed his brushes back on his little wooden folding table thing and sighed happily.

"Simply perfect…" The cavalier folded his arms and looked at his masterpiece. Forde looked around, searching for another scene he could paint, but his mind came up empty. Not like there was a lot in there to begin with. Kidding! Just kidding.

---

"Hmph…He doesn't even know I'm there…" Eirika sat on the grass, her legs bent up to her face. "Stupid Forde…" The teal-haired princess continued moping, so she didn't notice one of her friends creeping up behind her.

"What's wrong, Eirika?" Tana, the princess of Renais, sat next to her friend, looking worriedly at her.

"It's nothing, Tana." Eirika mumbled.

The dark-blue haired pegasus knight glared at her friend. "It's nothing, Tana.Yeah right! The last time you said that, you accidentally put hot sauce in Ephraim's dinner and caused him to be sick for a week!"

Eirika managed a faint smile. "I guess you're right."

"So what's bothering you?" Tana tilted her head, curious.

"Oh, it's Forde…He never notices me…"

"I'm sure he does."

"You're just saying that…I don't even think he knows that I like him."

"Have you told him you like him?"

Eirika blushed. "Uh…No…"

Tana sighed. "Well, duh! No wonder he doesn't know! It might be a good idea to tell him the next time you see him."

"W-Well…I don't know! What if he doesn't like me!"

"Sigh…Just try your best. I mean, you can't like you! Think about it, Eirika!" Tana smiled. "And I think I hear my brother calling for me. Sigh…He's such a jerk sometimes." The princess left, her ponytail bobbing on her head.

Eirika sighed and twiddled her fingers together, wondering about what she should do.

---

"Hah!" Forde was at practice again, swinging his sword diagonally. His opponent raised a shield and deflected the blow, causing Forde's hands to shake from the impact. The blond cavalier quickly placed his sword into a defensive position, readying himself for the upcoming assault. The cavalier brought his sword up to counter his enemy's first blow, but he was caught off guard as his opponent used his shield to past Forde backwards, blowing past Forde's guard and landing a clean blow on Forde's chest armor.

Forde landed on the ground with a loud crash and his sword landed a couple of feet away, too far for him to get within a couple of seconds. He looked steadily at the sword that was pointed at his throat and the blond cavalier let out a chuckle.

"I never could beat you, General Seth."

Seth smiled from under his helmet and moved his sword away. "But you're getting better, Forde. One day, you'll be able to beat me." The paladin dropped his shield and sheathed his sword, helping Forde get back on his feet. The red-haired man smiled again and patted his student on the back. "Just concentrate on the fight, and nothing will beat you."

"Got it, General Seth!" Forde saluted his trainer and left. Seth shook his head wearily.

"If it wasn't for my shield, I would have lost." Seth groaned and walked off, massaging his sore muscles.

---

Forde relaxed under the shade, relaxing his sore muscles. He let out a contented sigh and closed his eyes, getting ready for a long snooze. The birds were chirping, the sun was shining, a breeze was blowing, and a shadow was looming over him.

'Wait…Shadow?' Forde opened his eyes to see Eirika bending over him, smiling merrily.

"Hiya, sleepyhead." Eirika plunked herself right next to Forde.

Forde smiled. "Hi, Eirika. What are you doing?"

"Nothing, really. I actually came because there's something I want to tell you." Eirika flushed slightly, getting nervous.

"What is it?" Forde leaded his head back against the tree, completely at ease and unprepared for the bombshell Eirika was going to drop on him.

"I love you."

"Okay. Wait…WHAT?"Forde sat up, his eyes wide.

Eirika's eyes watered. "I thought you wouldn't understand…Ooooh…I shouldn't have listened to Tana." Eirika prepared to run off, but Forde grabbed her arm.

"Wait…Tell me again…"

"I…I love you, Forde." Eirika looked deep into Forde's eyes, and her resolve hardened. "And I'm not letting you go!" She pounced on the stunned cavalier, kissing him deeply. Forde's arms were frozen because of the shock, but he subconsciously placed them around her, holding her to him.

After a couple of heartfelt moments, Eirika released Forde. The cavalier still looked stunned, but there was a tiny smile on his face.

"Wow. I never knew you could kiss like that." The smile grew wider.

"Hmph!" Eirika folded her arms, but relented at Forde's puppy dog eyes. Betcha you didn't know that Forde could do puppy dog eyes. He could. And he could do them very well.

"I'm sorry…But what brought this along? I thought you liked General Seth."

"Yes…Maybe I did." Eirika smiled. "But then…You just appealed to me. Here I was, with all of the worries of my country on me, and there you were, with a brush in hand and painting, caring about nothing except the beauty of the day."

"Thanks…I think." Forde rubbed his head.

"I guess I kind of got jealous….I wanted to be as carefree as you."

"I see…" Forde nodded. "I can't say I'm disappointed in your choice!" The cavalier smiled. He looked at her beautiful face, at her sparkling eyes, and her pretty hair. Forde scratched his chin. "I recall you asking why I didn't do portraits, right?"

"Yes." Eirika nodded.

"Perhaps I have found someone who belongs with such beauty. And I'm certain Mother Nature wouldn't mind playing second fiddle to you." Forde grinned roguishly.

Eirika flushed red and giggled. "Forde…"

"Come on…I believe I've found inspiration for another masterpiece." Forde stood up and helped Eirika get to her feet. He led her to an open field a little ways away. Quickly grabbing his tools, he started painting.

---

"Forde, it's beautiful!" Eirika clapped her hands happily as she looked at the portrait of her. Forde smiled and leaned back to admire his handiwork.

"My first portrait…I think I could get used to this." Forde wiped his hands on a rag that hung from his belt.

"Only if you do portraits of me!" Eirika hung on Forde's arm, laughing.

Forde pretended to look astounded. "But…Eirika! More people should be able to show off their glory!" He laughed and ran one of his free hands through Eirika's long hair.

---

Years later, after the Demon King had been defeated and people returned to their homes, Forde became a renowned painter. He was famous for his landscapes and his art was in high demand in all parts of the country. In the house he lived in with his wife, Lady Eirika of Renais, paintings were hung on almost every wall. These were the ones he treasured the most, the ones he would never sell.

These were ones that shows pictures of all the people he had traveled with. Lute and Ewan, dueling with each other with their own tactics. Ross perfecting his axe technique with his father, Garcia. A painting of the three pegasus knights soaring in the sky, performing tricks in the sky to an appreciative audience. A painting of the entire army, all of them smiling.

And finally, the portraits. He had made dozens of portraits of his friends and he gave them all away. But the ones he kept for himself and his wife were of one person only. The princess of Renais, Lady Eirika.


Chris: There it is! Happy 14th birthday, Anne! Keep writing cause you're a great writer! Don't forget to review, peoples!