DISCLAIMER: I do not own Fire Emblem, or any of it's characters. Because if I did, ohhh, the things I would've done to Valtome. The THINGS. Zelgius WOULD have snapped his neck, and I would've went, "haha, stupid biiitch."

This probably isn't going to have very many chapters, I don't think I'm really very good at longer stories anyway. Hee.

Swordmasters for the win.

fffffffffffffffffff

Chapter 1

fff

"Which one are you aimin' at this time?"

"Hm.. that one." A man riding a ballista pointed at his next target. The sage next to him arched a brow.

"Eh? Why him?"

The sniper stared at his friend for a minute. "Oh damn, you don't know how deadly they really are, do you?"

"Well, I didn't really see much fighting on my side. I'm a new recruit around these parts of Daein."

"Well, trust me," The sniper replied, "You gotta get them sword guys before they get too close. I say this through experience."

"Ah.." The sage shuddered at some thoughts that came to mind. "Well, what if you miss?"

"Don't worry. I won't."

The sage chuckled. "All right. Hope all goes well."

"Same t' you. Remember what I said."

"Right."

ffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffff

The great bridge was a rather extraordinary sight to Mia. Never before did she think she'd be able to see rather amazing things like what had been before her eyes now (she actually couldn't remember the name of the bridge); it almost made her sort of dizzy. It was the border between Daein and Crimea, this bridge. It was gigantic and mesmorizing, and left you wondering how it was so sturdy.

"Hey, Mia! How are you doing over there?"

"Huh?" The swordmaster spun around to see the second member of their trio running towards her, and she gave a slight grin. "Heh.. I'm doing fine. This place is just so..."

"... Big?" Zihark attempted to finish, and Mia started to giggle.

"More like gigantic!" Mia stretched her arms wide as she said this, and Zihark had wondered how Mia could be all cheerful and excited when everyone was fighting. Though, that was just Mia. She was always peppy and spunky and assorted other words that made her... her.

"All right," Zihark replied, "Well, I'm going back to where I was then. Keep your guard up! Remember, this place may be different from what most of us have seen, but this is still a battlefield!"

"I know! I'll be careful!" Mia waved as Zihark left to take care of more Daein soldiers, and she then took a quick glance around to see if she could find Stefan. When she caught sight of him with Mordecai running after a group of axe-wielders and such, she felt her bit of relief that she needed. As long as she knew her friends were all right, she could fight to her full power. And she did of course, catching up to the others as they advanced forward across the bridge.

Mia didn't like the looks of the sage that suddenly appeared in front of her. He seemed confident, a little too confident, an elfire tome in his right hand. She lunged after him quickly, trying to erase the look of utter-confidence that burned in her mind just then. She had no idea why it had started to bother her so much, even as she easily dodged the fiery attack that was launched at her, and even as she finally struck him down. Drops of blood had sputtered into the air as he fell, and there still seemed to be traces of that look on his face even as he lie dead on the ground. As if his last words had been, "It doesn't matter if I die." She didn't know what that was supposed to mean, of course, but it still made her feel slightly uneasy. Mia tried to hide this feeling by running her fingers through her long, purple hair, and continuing on her way.

ffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffff

Zihark found himself somewhat halt in terror even though he shouldn't have. It was a fatal mistake- he knew he could hear the lethal click and his inner-consious muttering "damn"; there was a second he couldn't remember, maybe it was him realizing his error, and now it was too late to change it. The bolt came towards him fast and unforgiving.

His thought before feeling the pain overwhelming him and him stumbling backwards onto the cold, hard ground was, "How bitterly ironic."

ffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffff

She didn't know when exactly it had happened. Maybe it's because she didn't want it to happen, or maybe it just happened way too fast for her to comprehend at first. In all of her merry daydreams, she forgot about the swordmaster-haters (she gave them a nickname, yes) that were just conveniently set up around the bridge; and now it was too late to take care of the snipers controlling them before they could do anything.

Mia was frozen in one spot as she watched the whole thing. She thought she could hear a triumphant "Aha, I got 'im!" coming from somewhere distant, which filled her with hatred. Hatred, terror, maybe something else that she couldn't exactly understand. All of this welled up inside of her until she could barely even stand up; and, finally, she had to let it all out.

"Zihark!"

Her cry was so loud that it might've been heard for miles if the fighting had been quieter. Some thought it might've broken a record; however, nothing could've been as record breaking as Mia's speed when she started to run. She ran to her friend in a rush of panic and guilt. If only she had paid more attention, then maybe she would've noticed them sooner... maybe it would've been her instead, something better than this...

She wondered if Stefan had seen Zihark fall, too, or had at least noticed it. The rather frightened swordmaster didn't feel like looking around for him, though there had been a frustrated roar nearby and she assumed that at least Mordecai had seen it as well. She didn't know if anyone else could have noticed since most of them were already ahead; Mia had only just realized that she had fallen drastically behind, but she didn't care.

ffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffff

Stefan wiped dirt from his face as he climbed out of the pitfall he had fallen into. It wasn't the only time it had happened, of course, but it was getting a tad bit annoying. He heard a growl and noticed Mordecai had seemed to be looking at something as he had gotten back up; the tiger laguz turned back and asked, "Stefan. Are you okay?"

"Yes, I'm fine," Stefan replied, dusting himself off, "But something seems to have your attention."

"Grr.. I think one of your friends is hurt."

"Hm?" The Branded swordmaster looked in the direction Mordecai seemed to be facing and thought he could spot Mia rushing over to somewhere as fast as she could. No wonder he could swear he had heard someone...

"Stefan... go to her. I saw your other friend go down... she might be in danger, too."

"Right." Before he did anything, Stefan reminded himself of the nearby sniper and asked Mordecai if he could get rid of him.

"Once I transform again, I will do that for you," He had answered.

"Thanks."

ffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffff

Mia didn't know when she had finally reached Zihark in her confused state of thought, and the sight of him barely alive on the ground made her feel like she was going to die as well. His breathing was shallow and he didn't have much time to live, Mia had guessed. The sniper had rather good aim, she thought grimly; to get a swordmaster square in the chest like that at such a distance was a difficult feat. And yet he had done it. "I'm so sorry, Zihark," Mia could barely talk without choking up, "You told me to be more attentive to my surroundings, and yet you were the one to... I... I'm a horrible..." She faltered, her ability to speak failing her for the moment.

Zihark coughed a few times, as if he were attempting to laugh. Mia was rather surprised at this reaction. She could see a little regret in his eyes, like he felt sad to be leaving them, but there wasn't much sadness besides that. As in, he seemed rather.. peaceful. "Don't.. worry," he managed to say in a barely audible tone, "It isn't.. your fault."

"But I..."

"Sometimes.. there are some.. things that... we can't avoid."

".. Things we.. can't avoid?"

"Yes," Zihark's struggle to utter his last words was immense, "Things... like.. our deaths. And it... just happened.. to be my.. time..." He closed his eyes and sighed a final, tranquil sigh, and that was it.

Mia had remained in that same spot for some time, silent and trembling, down on her knees. She didn't cry; for some reason she couldn't. She reminded herself of Ike in a way. When his father died, he didn't cry. Of course, losing a close parent like that had most likely felt much worse than losing a friend, so she probably couldn't compare very well.

She also didn't notice that the archer near them was still alive- but Stefan had, of course. Mia suddenly heard a shout behind her, and found herself being pulled backwards; an arrow landed right at her feet, and she winced. She had almost just met the same fate. Damned snipers. "That was close," said a familiar voice behind her, "He already got one of us, so that should be enough for him." Mia sighed a kind of heavy sigh, and Stefan wasn't sure whether it was a guilty sigh, a relieved sigh, a sigh of grief, or all three. He assumed it was, most likely, the last one. "Mia, are you all right?" He asked.

"Not really."

"Ah, I see. Well then." A dazed Mia then discovered herself being lifted onto the swordsman's shoulder, and he then said, "Hang on. Mordecai said he would take care of the sniper for us, and I believe Ike is heading for General Petrine as we speak. This battle's about to be over soon, I see it."

"Okay..." She really couldn't understand much of anything right now, and most of what Stefan had just told her seemed to have floated away into some unknown location outside of Mia's current attention span. She felt a sort of strange calmness at this point; maybe this had been one of those things where the shock would strike much, much later and then she would feel absolutely terrible, but right now, she just let herself drift into a period of what she called semi-consiousness. But if there was one thing in the world that she was absolutely sure of at this moment was that she was exhausted.

"Stefan?"

"Hm? What is it?"

"I'm sorry... I couldn't do anything, I--"

"Mia, don't worry. Just calm down."

"All right..."

-End of chapter 1-

fffffffffffffffffff

I think it was the day after Christmas or something, my sister was watching me play Path of Radiance and I was on chapter 23. I was doing really well on it and Zihark was randomly critical'd by a ballista and I was like, "... Do not waaaant." And then this idea came to mind. Lawl.