Disclaimer: Don't own Fire Emblem, not making money from it, blah blah.

Summary: Mostly Lyn-oriented flash fics tracing various characters/relationships before, throughout, and after the game.
Pairings: Eliwood/Hector/Lyn + Male!Tactician friendship, Lyn/Florina friendship, Kent/Sain friendship, Kent/Lyn/Rath triangle, Eliwood/Ninian, Hector/Florina, maybe some miscellaneous but probably not.
Rating: K+ for mild language.

Notes: I'll be writing and posting this whenever I feel like it. There will be continuity between the various pieces -- I'm just too lazy to develop something without any real plot into a full blown story. Just think of this as gap filler for the game storyline. However, just as a warning, I haven't played FE6 (yet), which I think this game is supposed to be a prequel to, so there may be FE6 revelations regarding the characters/universe that don't quite gel with things I'll be writing here.

Edit (9/26/06): Found an old post in one of the forums here listing characters' ages from the artbooks, and it turns out Lyn is actually 15 during her story, not 18 as the English translation claims. As this younger age makes more sense to me anyway, I have adjusted the fic accordingly.

1. Names

Lyn: Leaving

She is fifteen when the bandits raid. Caught unawares, the tribe just barely manages to drive them off, but the cost is dear. Her father, their chieftain, is killed in battle; her mother lingers on for a few more days, struggling against an ugly, festering wound in her belly before finally succumbing with a half-whispered name on her lips.

In the weeks that follow, she turns her despair into rage and hatred and thoughts of vengeance. The best of the warriors of the Lorca have fallen, whether in that first attack or to injuries sustained, yet even so she thinks to gather the few who remain.

I will be strong. I will protect my people, as my father before me did.

I shall have revenge. For him, for my mother, for the tribe. For our people.

This she thinks, but they will not follow her. They will not follow her, mere slip of a girl, barely a woman, daughter of a Lycian, an outsider.

Lyn, your father was a good man and strong, they tell her. But now he is dead, and our sons and our daughters are dead. We are all that is left, the very old and the very young, the sickly and the dying. Perhaps you cannot understand, but we can look now only to survival. There is no place here for a heart darkened as yours.

She doesn't understand. And somehow, that hurts even more than her parents' deaths. The realization, for the first time in her life, that she is alone. She does not belong.

She leaves.

Tactician: Memory

A strange girl, he thinks. Several years younger than him, by the looks of it, and claiming to be of the Lorca. Certainly she is clothed in traditional Sacaen garb, and he cannot imagine what any young non-Sacaen girl might be doing in these parts... but there is something about her eyes, her high cheekbones, the tilt of her chin, that seems to him unlike that of any nomad he has met to date.

He remembers also hearing news of a terrible raid some months ago that scattered the Lorca, if not utterly annihilated the tribe -- and didn't the Lorca dwell farther away from these mountains? -- but then, he knows little of these people of the plains save for rumor and hearsay, and it could well be that he misremembers the tribe's name.

There is so little he remembers, really.

He wonders vaguely how long he has been out, how long this strange girl has been caring for him. He collapsed from hunger, he remembers. And how long had he been without food before that?

When the girl asks his name he tells her the first thing that comes to mind, and when the bandits come and she proclaims that she is going to stop them herself, he offers his aid as a tactician. What he does, why he is here -- that much he recalls, at least. There is little need for tacticians in these times, much less for one whose history and background are completely unknown. It has been a long time since he has exercised his skills, and he supposes it is partly out of boredom and partly out of thanks for her care that he makes the offer. The effort takes much out of him, though. He has not yet fully recovered.

But he is definitely surprised when the girl asks to come along with him, when he wakes the next morning. Get your parents' permission first, he says, still half-asleep and only half-serious, wondering if she has any idea exactly what she asks of him.

He is startled once again when she does not answer with the expected retort about her age, but instead, jaw trembling, begins to cry. He's not really sure what to do, has never been good with women, nor crying women at that, and how the hell was he supposed to know her parents had been killed?

Partly out of guilt and partly because he does see a great deal of potential in the girl, and he really dislikes seeing such talent go to waste, he relents.

Oh, Mark, thank you so much.

He's not really sure what he's getting himself into, but he's willing to bet it's going to be one hell of an interesting experience.

Kent: Joy

As a young boy, he'd spent hours wandering through the castle in secret, staring at the rows of magnificent paintings that covered its walls. His father had been a renowned painter at court, but was long dead by then, of illness. He had his mother's flaming orange hair and bright brown eyes and love of horses, but from his father he had nothing but a name and what little his mother would reveal. And so during his wanderings, he would often play a game with himself, trying to guess which of the portraits had been painted by his father and which had been drawn by lesser artists, matching the name he possessed against the signatures scrawled in the corners, as if this way he could somehow come to better know that elusive, shadowy man he had never met, would never meet.

One day, he stumbled upon a dusty, forgotten wing of the castle that seemed to have seen no visitor in years but him. Upon the yellowing, cobwebby wall hung a portrait. A painting of a young woman, striking though not quite beautiful, carrying herself with pride and grace. But it was the expression on her face that struck him most -- free and untrammeled and full of laughter.

He had never seen such unbridled joy.

He remembers now wondering who she was, if his father had known her, why her portrait had been squirreled away in this secret dark corner where none could be illuminated by its brilliance. He remembers also searching for the signature, and finding written in a hand whose owner he could not ascertain only three simple words: "To my lady."

His mother remarried soon after that. To a knight, a man strict and strong yet kind. And as he began to immerse himself in training with his stepfather, he left behind his days of aimless wandering and endless halls of paintings for good, and all thoughts of the mysterious portrait fled his mind.

It wasn't until many years later that he saw that face again -- though different, harder and walled and yet at the same time more vulnerable -- and realized he had never truly forgotten it.

But this time he had a name to go along with the face. And as it slipped so easily from his tongue, the sound of it seeming strange to his ears, her face lit up for the briefest moment, and there he saw traces of that wild proud grace, a hint of joy freely gifted, just as he had gifted her Lyndis, returned to her a piece of what she had thought lost.

And for the first time in his life, he thinks he understands, and he thinks that he desires nothing more than to see her laugh, her heart unburdened by sorrow, nothing but happiness etched in her face.

He thinks he would give his life for her, and gladly.