Author's Note

Li: I don't believe it! My first Fire Emblem one-shot, and it's about Shinon! Ugh! He is my least favorite person in PoR, other than Gatrie. But I saw the part in Tor Garen where he speaks to Rolf, and just had to write a story about it. Curse my bizarre inspiration.

Roy: Don't worry, Li. It's going to be fine. You still made him cold.

Li: Yeah, okay. First Fire Emblem fic. Reviews appriciated!

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It was relatively simple. At least, that was how Soren made it sound. All they had to do was overtake Tor Garen, and they'd be in Daein. Simple. Except for the unnumerable amounts of soldiers. Ike, of course, was undaunted, and hurried right into the fray, with Titania, Soren, Oscar, and Boyd right behind him. Rolf was forced to traipse along behind, following Tanith, Astrid, and the heron prince, Reyson. He was bored out of his mind.

Stay here Rolf, where it's safe.

You'll only be in the way, you little brat.

Oscar was possibly right, but Boyd was a total loser. He refused to believe that Rolf might be able to take care of himself. He decided that he would show Boyd. He snuck qiuetly down a different hallway, leaving the others to go where they willed.

Rolf's POV

I'll show them. Boyd will have to recognize that I'm not a baby. I'll get through this stupid fortress first, and then he'll see...

I told them that I taught myself archery. I think Oscar suspects the truth, but he's not going to tell. Shinon didn't want anyone to know that he taught me to shoot, because then people would know that he actually cared about someone. I miss him. He was like family, when Oscar was busy and Boyd was being mean. He actually offered to feather Boyd for me once, but that may have been for his sake, not mine.

Dang. There's an enemy sniper. I'm not good enough to best a sniper yet. I'll just sneak... Double dang. He saw me. He's coming this way. He's... talking?

"Rolf?" he said, for once sounding surprised. I recognize his voice and freeze.

"Shinon?"

Shinon's POV

I agreed to work for Daein. The pay is good, no matter how temporary. I'll probably leave after this battle. Even now, I'm still a mercenary. Damn. I've never regretted leaving those other fools. Except... I wonder if Rolf is doing all right. I wonder if he's told his brothers about me teaching him...

Dammit, stop thinking about them! There's an enemy coming. One quick shot, then I'll be able to think in peace again.

My bow is ready. I set the arrow to the string, then drop it in surprise, staring at the little green-haired kid in front of me.

"Rolf?" I manage, trying for my normal, stoic tone. He freezes. I hear him say my name, almost disbelieveing.

"Shinon? Are... Are you working for Daein?"

Don't even. Don't get emotional over this boy. Just tell him, and it will be fine.

"Yes."

"But... but..." Rolf's lower lip starts to stick out. Dammit, don't cry.

"Rolf!" I'm too sharp, but it gets his attention. "Stop. I told you, this could happen." He nods, and I have to ask, "Did you tell your brothers?"

"Wha...? No! I wouldn't break a promise!"

"Good." It hurts, almost, to say my next words, but, "Pick up your bow, boy. It's time for the pupil to face his master."

Rolf's POV

"Pick up your bow, boy." Shinon seems angry, but at me, or himself? "It's time for the pupil to face his master."

WHAAAAT? Fight him? He's ten times better than me! I can't... He taught me everything, nearly. I just can't... can't picture him dying...

"I... I don't want to fight you..." I can't help it. Tears form in my eyes, running down my face. I'm ashamed to cry in front of him, but I can't stop. He looks lost, then upset, then finally starts forward.

Shinon's POV

He doesn't want to fight me. How cute. Doesn't the little fool realize we're enemies? Oh, damnation. He's crying. Stupid Rolf. Hhhhhhhh...

What do I do? He looks... ashamed... Like he's worried about crying in front of me. Damn, damn, damn! I just can't...

I start forward. When I reach Rolf, I hug him, lifting him partially off the ground. "Rolf, stop crying. We don't have to fight, okay?" Rolf rests his head against my shoulder, sniffling. I put him down, sinking until I'm sitting against the wall. He sits beside me, and I wonder yet again how he regards me. Like another brother? Like a father? I don't understand, at all.

"Shinon?" Rolf says, leaning on me.

"What, Rolf?" I've come very close to snapping at him, but...

"Are you going to come with us?" Damn. Should have seen that coming. What am I supposed to tell him?

"I don't know, Rolf. They won't want me around, after I left like that." I'm not even sure if I want to see them again. Ike, certainly. He was a brat, always getting what he wanted because his father was commander. Well, let's see if he can stand up to Daein now, without Greil. I have found out some things, though, while I was here. Commander Greil used to be General Gawain, rider of Daein. I don't feel quite as bad working for them, knowing that the commander used to.

"They'll take you back. You were a companion for so long. They have to. And I miss having you around, to help me with my archery."

Rolf's POV

I can't believe I told him that! He's going to get mad. He hates it when I say things like that. Now he's got this really thoughtful expression on his face.

"Uhh, Shinon? I'm... uhhh... sorry." I don't want him to be mad at me. He's the closest thing to a father I've got. Oscar's usually busy with work for the company, and Boyd treats me like a baby. Shinon saw that I had a chance to be good at archery, and actually taught me. I'm better than Boyd or Oscar with a bow.

"It's okay, Rolf." Wow, he's not mad! Cool. But... "Rolf, I don't know if I want to go back." Whaaat! Why wouldn't he? I mean, I know he and Ike didn't get along, but...

"No! You have to come back! Please, Shinon?" I've latched onto him, hugging his arm for dear life. He looks absolutely shocked.

"Rolf! Get off!" He trys to shake my grip on his arm, but can't. "Seriously, let go, now!" I let go, sitting up. "Listen, Rolf. I'll make you a deal. If..." He goes silent, looking around, then, "Hide. Someone's coming."

Shinon's POV

I push Rolf behind a tapestry, into a concealed alcove. If it's one of the Daein soldiers, they'd probably kill him. And me, for obviously being on friendly terms with them. If it's one of the Crimean army... I'll deal with it. I turn to face the footsteps coming around the corner, and pause. Ike.

"Shinon." Ike says. He doesn't sound surprised at all. "Why are you working for Daein, of all things! How could you go that far?"

"Listen, Ike." I spit. "I never liked being just a no-name mercenary. I wanted a name for myself, and if I can get it from Daein, so be it."

"Fine. I'll fight you, for our remaining honor. Don't hold back." Ike readies his sword. Can I shoot him before he reaches me? Do I want to?

"Fine." I say, equally harsh. "Let's see if you can beat me."

Fighting for only a few moments, I remember loosing arrows at him, but he dodged with a speed I've never seen. He got too close for arrows. He is better than I thought. I manage to block his first swing with my bow, but I can feel the wood crack under my fingers. Ike swung again, and this time, the bow shattered. I backed up, but Ike had already whirled and struck me in the side. I fell to my knees, blood gushing from a wound in my side. it stained the floor red.

"Don't move." Ike ordered. "You'll tear the wound wide open." He pulled out a vulnerary, and handed it to me. I took it, but didn't use it.

"Finish me." I hissed. "Why do you hesitate? Finish me, and know that one of your own will suffer for it."

Ike knelt, and smiled knowingly. "Yes, I could... But you don't want that one to suffer, hmmm?" He leaned by my ear and said softly, "Rolf would be devistated if I killed you, wouldn't he?"

Rolf's POV

I watched through a tiny hole in the tapestry. Ike and Shinon were fighting! I saw Ike hit Shinon in the side. Shinon collapsed, bleeding. Ike tried to give him a vulnerary, but he didn't use it. Why?

"Finish me." I could barely hear the words, but they chilled me nonetheless. Shinon wanted to die? But... I thought... And what does he mean, one of your own will suffer?

"Yes, I could... But you don't want that one to suffer, hmmm?" Ike knelt by Shinon and whispered something to him. I saw Shinon stiffen, then slowly uncork the vulnerary. As he used the healing salve on his wound, I waited. Ike looked up, right at my hiding place, and smiled.

"Rolf. Come out. Now." I stepped from behind the tapestry. Ike grinned. "I heard that you had snuck off by yourself, from Tanith, Astrid, and Reyson. I came looking, and when I saw Shinon, I knew you had to be nearby."

"Don't kill Shinon, Ike." I said. I sounded like a baby, but I didn't care. I looked at Shinon, who's wounds were nearly healed, and asked, "Why would you want to die?"

"I lost." Shinon said bluntly.

"That doesn't matter." Ike said. "I know you don't like me, because of my father and my station. I know you thought I was spoiled. But here I am, without my father to help. We've made it this far, and we'd like your aid again."

"You've bested me. I acknoledge your skills. I'll come."

"Yes!" I cried. "Thank you, Uncle Shinon!" I jumped on him, and he growled.

"Rolf! Off!" Shinon snapped. He then said, "Seriously, quit that." He looked at Ike. "If you tell anyone I've been teaching him, I'll feather you." Setting a hand on my shoulder, he turned, pulling me with him.

Ike watched the pair leave.

"Shinon's not so bad." Ike said softly to himself. "He cares about Rolf, which is more than I can say for Boyd sometimes."

"Ike!"

Ike turned, seeing Stefan and Zihark, the swordsmasters, standing behind him. Stefan beckoned.

"Come on! We broke through the defense at the other doors!" Stefan waited for Ike to nod, then raced away to rejoin the battle. Zihark waited for his commander. Ike seemed distant. He placed a hand on Ike's shoulder.

"Ike? Are you okay?" the quiet swordsman asked.

Ike nodded. "Shinon is back with us."

"Shinon? The other one who left?" Zihark was dimly surprised. Ike had told him about Shinon and Gatrie leaving.

"Yeah... And I think we can trust him. He and Rolf went to pick off anyone left behind us." Ike said.

"Okay..." Zihark said. Ike grinned.

"Come on. Let's go, before Stefan annihilates everyone that's left."

"I want Astra." Zihark said.

"I was saving Deadeye for Rolf. Or Sol for Mist."

"I hate having only two Occults."

"Me too." Both hurried to rejoin the battle, to win over Tor Garen, win passage into Daein, and win back an old ally. Even though he had already been won, by a young, green-haired archer.

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Li: God I suck at endings.

Roy: It wasn't that bad.

Li: I suppose you're right. And if anyone has Stefan, you'll understand what I mean about Astra and him annihilating everything. Now that you've finished, review!

Roy: Please?