The World
By: Manna


xOx…

The Microfic/Drabble Meme
Requested by: Kanthia (LiveJournal)
Prompt: "This world won't last forever."
Pairing/Characters: Hector, Eliwood, Lyndis
Fandom: Fire Emblem 7: Rekka no Ken


xOx…

She was brooding again, and he hated it when she did that. He mumbled to himself as he watched her sit there, watched her stare blankly at her lap, eyes half-closed in quiet contemplation of something most likely out of her control.

Perhaps the lives they'd taken that day were riding on her conscious, he thought.

Ahh, but Lyn, you're not as tough as you try to be. He smirked a little to himself at this not-quite newfound knowledge and filed it away for future reference. She was a hard egg to crack, he'd found out, because despite the fact that she appeared to be very open, she still had a tendency to hide the things she felt from other people.

To protect them? To protect herself? He didn't know and couldn't—or wouldn't—confess to care too much about it or let himself dwell on the subject for too long. Lyn was Lyn, he'd come to realize. She was just as complex as any woman of the female persuasion even though she didn't seem willing to acknowledge it for the most part. There were no fancy words or beating around the bush with her—not when she had something she really wanted to make clear to everyone.

But here she is, brooding, he let himself think, lowering his axe to stare at her for a moment. She did not move. She was good with a sword, an exceptional opponent for a sparring match, and a good friend. But no matter how much she pretends, he told himself, she's not 'one of the boys'.

He knew women had fancy emotions and he supposed that, well…maybe she had a right to sit and think for a while, alone.

"You're not going to bother her, are you?" A voice interrupted his thoughts, as soft as a summer breeze and as gentle as moonlight on the grass.

Hector turned around to greet his friend. "Eliwood," he said. "Haven't seen you all day. I thought for sure you were off with Ninian."

The redheaded man had the good graces to blush at the name of the beautiful young lady who had presumably been holding his interest. "Ah, I was," he admitted slowly, nervously rubbing at his chin and neck. "I saw you standing here and excused myself for a moment to see what you were up to. Though, if there's one thing I know I cannot do, it's keep you out of trouble."

"Damn straight." Hector chuckled slightly and shifted his weight to his other leg, cocking his head to the side slightly. "Why do you suppose she mopes around all of the time like that?" he asked the future Lord of Pherae after a short period of silence fell between the two of them. "I don't get it."

"She's thinking," Eliwood replied. "She is entitled to that, isn't she?"

"Well, yeah, but…" Hector took a hesitant step forward. He wanted to…say something. Anything, really, that would wipe that stupid look off of that woman's face. The only thing more annoying would be seeing that old bat—the one with the wyvern—with the same pensive expression. He shuddered at the mere thought.

"Wait, Hector, you're not—" His friend's hand on his arm wasn't enough to stop him.

"Hey, Lyn!"

Her head snapped up at the sound of the blue-haired man's loud voice, but she did not reply.

"Stop wallowing in self-pity or whatever it is that you keep doing. Haven't we been over this before? There aren't any pirates here this time, you know." He had a smile plastered to his face, but he could admit to himself that he only wanted to start something with her. She was there giving him a reason to say something, after all. What more did he need?

That look on her face is unnerving, he thought as he moved towards her, glad to see her eyes focused on something in the here and now instead of the past or possibly terrible future.

She set her chin stubbornly and narrowed her eyes. "I was thinking," she said to him, her words clipped, her accent a little thick. "Is that some sort of crime, now?"

"Thinking about what?" He stopped a few feet away from her and smirked widely as he heard Eliwood's footsteps echoing behind, his friend and fellow nobleman mumbling about disturbing the peace and potentially starting a fight he couldn't finish.

"Not that it's any of your business, but I was thinking about—"

"About death?" He refused to let her finish, and he was satisfied—immensely so—when her eyes lost their melancholy undertone and flamed to life, annoyance at the front of her range of emotions. "About dying and people changing and, oh-no, time doesn't stop?" He fingered the edge of the handle of his axe that had been dragged along behind him on his journey of five full steps. "Nothing lasts forever, Lyn. You know that."

She opened her mouth to say something, to argue back with words that would bite and sting, but she closed it again and glared heatedly at him for a long moment before trying again. Hector wasn't sure if he should be disappointed or not, but Eliwood was shaking his head amusedly (or out of disbelief) from beside him, which may or may not have meant anything at all. He vaguely thought he heard the redhead next to him mutter something about letting Lyn kill him, but he couldn't be sure, and he didn't have the time to dwell on it or argue to Eliwood that the last ten times, and every time before that, he'd bested Lyn in their sparring matches.

"Some things do." Her Sacaen accent thickened with her increasing irritation, and her eyes narrowed further until she was half-glaring at him.

She looked better that way, he decided. Much better than when she was downhearted or a little depressed or just plain sad. He gave himself a mental pat on the back as Eliwood sighed in frustration.

"Oh, like what? Let me see…food gets eaten or goes bad, animals die, people die, stars fall, and fires burn out."

He had the distinct feeling that she wanted to tell him to shut up. "N-no!" she insisted, shaking her head though her eyes never stopped glaring deathly daggers at him. "Like… like…"

Eliwood opened his mouth as if he wanted to speak, as if he had something really intelligent to say, but Hector either didn't notice or didn't care—most likely the former—and plowed right on in his quest to irritate Lyndis enough to snap her out of her reverie.

"Ohh, and don't even get me started on that love stuff; it doesn't count."

Eliwood's mouth snapped shut, but Lyn ground her teeth and turned away from him, crossing her arms over her chest.

"What do you mean, it doesn't count?" Eliwood asked a minute later, finally deciding to speak since Lyn was currently occupied with ignoring Hector. "Why wouldn't it count?"

"It just doesn't." The broad-shouldered man shrugged and shook his head.

"But it does last forever. You're not denying that."

"I don't know. Maybe it does, maybe it doesn't. Since we don't live forever, I guess we'll never know until we die, right? Personally, I think it's a bunch of crap, but—"

He'd never heard a woman growl before, but he was certain that the sound could be described no other way. "What would you know about it anyway?" she asked him, seething with annoyance or anger or perhaps both. "If you'd stop scaring Florina away all of the time, and you'd stop stalking her sister, maybe you'd know what I'm talking about!"

He strained to hear her words thanks to her almost annoyingly thick accent. Sometimes it was worth making her angry just to see if he could make it get so thick that he couldn't even understand what she was saying. It wasn't one of those times, but it was pretty close. After all, there really was nothing like a friend breaking you out of your thoughts to get your day moving in the best way possible.

Especially when that friend was tall and loud and argumentative.

"She has a point." Eliwood suddenly grinned. "If you wouldn't stomp around like a monster in one of those old tales we used to hear about in history class, you might see that a few women in this army have taken a shine to you."

"You're full of it."

"Full of what?"

"Hector, go somewhere else. Why don't you find Serra? Maybe she can fix that growth on your shoulders—oh wait, that's your head."

"Lyndis," Eliwood was almost whining. Really, did those two have to constantly argue to maintain some sense of balance in the ranks of their army, or what? "Please, just…"

"Woman, don't you have any tact at all?"

"I don't need it! Obviously you do, you insensitive jerk!"

"What makes you say that?"

"I think you need some sensitivity training more than you do anything else. Why can't you just leave me alone in peace for once?! You should go and be an oaf somewhere else!"

He snorted, his own temper flaring. "Sensitivity training? Right. Whatever you say, Lyn. Hey, maybe you need to go back to Caelin and get some training to teach you how to talk so that people can understand you!"

Eliwood cringed at that comment, and the gentler man shook his head, unsure as to what he could do or say to rectify the situation, to make things right again. That really was…a tad far, wasn't it?

Lyn was shaking, though if it was from anger or something else, none of them were sure. "I…" She trailed off and clenched her hands around her arms, obviously attempting to calm herself but failing miserably. "I…! Sometimes I hate you, Hector!"

He'd won yet another argument… Well, the first one in awhile, to be perfectly honest, but either way, he'd won. He basked in his small victory—if it could be called that—for a few moments, at least…until her last sentence hit him like a ton of bricks. "Hate me?" he echoed, not sure if he was still feeling victorious or not.

"Yes." The word sounded like the angry hiss of a mother cat. Lyn stood from where she had been sitting and turned on her heel before walking away from them.

"Well, that's fine!" he shouted after her, cupping his hand around his mouth in the hopes that his voice would carry a long distance. "That won't last forever, either!"

She refused to reply and continued on her way. After she was out of his field of vision, Hector sighed in frustration and thumped his axe against the ground a few times.

"You should go after her." Eliwood stared him down, the blue eyes of his friend almost piercing in their intensity. He had the distinct feeling that the other man was placing the majority of the blame for the situation on him. "She probably doesn't realize she's just wandered in the direction opposite of camp."

In other words, the Ostian thought, go find her and apologize.

"She can take care of herself." He hefted his weapon of choice over his shoulder and meandered back towards the camp and, in turn, food. "Look, if you're so concerned, you should go find her yourself."

"You should have left her alone."

"Alone? Why? So she could brood some more about how her family is either dead or dying, and how she's got no purpose left in life thanks to Wallace?" He snorted in annoyance and continued walking, paying little attention to the fact that Eliwood was trailing after him.

"Maybe she was thinking of something else. You don't know that she wasn't." His friend ran his hand through his hair, pushing the bright-colored strands in every direction. "I'm pretty sure that insulting her for something pretty much beyond her control did more harm than it helped…and I think you were initially trying to help in some strange, twisted way."

"Twisted? I'm not twisted. She's twisted. Or insane. Probably both."

Eliwood chuckled. "She's a spitfire, but I doubt she's insane."

Silence fell over them until they could see and hear the activities going on in their camp. "I can't believe she said she hates me," the blue-haired man muttered under his breath, shaking his head slightly.

"For what you said, you deserved it, I'd say. Usually you're insulting her messy hair or her sweaty clothes, but insulting the way she was taught to speak? That's crossing the line, my friend."

"Yeah, yeah… I guess I'll eventually track her down and …apologize."

"Good. Now, I'll have to leave you… I believe I see Ninian over there." He turned to Hector and smiled.

Hector could have sworn that smile looked like it was hiding something…

"And you don't know if love can last forever." With a light chuckle and a slight wave, Eliwood was gone, leaving Hector alone with his axe and his thoughts.

After a long minute of standing in the middle of the camp doing absolutely nothing except breathing, it suddenly hit him. "I do not stalk Florina's sister!"


xOx…

It had been approximately two days since Lyn's encounter with Hector and Eliwood, and she was still angry about what the insensitive one of them had said to her. What, exactly, was wrong with her accent? Yes, she admitted to herself, some words she pronounced wrong according to Lycian society, but she didn't think she was hard to understand.

Well, maybe a little bit.

Sometimes.

Like when she was so angry she could hardly see straight, or so tired that she could hardly keep her eyes open, let alone manage to get her tongue to properly form words.

But really, Hector had had no right to say that to her, and it both angered and hurt her to think about it. She was proud of her heritage, but at the same time, she wanted to fit into the society of her grandfather; it would make him happy to see her at home in Caelin, even though it would never quite be home to her.

Home was, as she'd heard Sain say, once, where one's heart was, and her heart was only half in Caelin, nestled safely in the arms of her grandfather.

The army was settling down for the night again, and she was mostly alone, save for Kent—who stood mere feet away—and her own thoughts. She wanted to take those thoughts and feed them to Vaida's book-eating wyvern, or perhaps Farina's pegasus, who had a nose for trouble and an even bigger appetite.

"Lyn." His approach startled her, but it seemed to startle Kent more.

Her knight whipped his head around to stare at Hector with a gaze that would mean certain death for any enemy soldier, and he moved from his position just behind her to stand at her side, awaiting orders of any sort.

It wasn't that Kent didn't trust Hector… Indeed, Hector had angered his Lady Lyndis many times in their time traveling together, but it was more than that. It wasn't about trust anymore.

Lyndis knew that Kent had a way of knowing things, even when she did not tell him, and there was no doubt in her mind that he knew something of what Hector had said the other evening. He was a good man, she thought, but a bit overprotective, sometimes.

"What do you want?" she asked, most of her anger gone from her expression after the passage of time. "It's like I said, some things do last forever… Oh, wait. I hope you understood that."

The Ostian man sighed in frustration and waved his hand at Lyn's knight. "Look, Kent, leave us alone. I want to ta—"

"Just because you can do that at home doesn't mean that you can do it here, Hector! Don't order him around!" Her hands were fisted again, though only defensively, ready to finish their argument of the other day.

He growled under his breath at her, running a hand through his blue hair, but it didn't make the situation any better; Kent moved to stand closer to his liege, and Lyn only continued glaring heatedly at him.

"Love can last forever, Hector, and so can hate."

"So you do hate me?" He sounded surprised.

She thought for a long moment, eventually throwing Kent a look; her red-armored knight immediately left, moving a respectable distance away, though not leaving her completely alone. "No," she finally told him. "I don't hate you. I hate the fact that just like the day I met you, you acted irrationally and without thinking first."

"Well, you brought up the sensitivity training stuff!"

"And you do need it!"

"And your accent is hard to understand sometimes!"

She fell silent and looked away from him, chewing on her bottom lip and counting back from ten, just as Chancellor Reissmann had insisted she do rather than blow up at villagers and their stupid, selfish, greedy problems. Patience, he'd said, is very important. It's critical in almost every situation you'll ever face.

She sighed. "That's not my fault."

For a few minutes, neither of them said anything, but Hector couldn't take the silence any longer, and opened his mouth. "I know," he admitted. "I probably shouldn't have said that."

"…Is that an apology?" Her anger started to evaporate, and the corner of her mouth turned up slightly in amusement.

"Sort of. Now wipe that cocky I-know-everything grin off of your face! The world won't last for eternity, but if there's one thing that definitely does, it's death!" He raised his axe off of his shoulder slightly, smirking at her.

"Is that a challenge?" she asked, her hand immediately moving to the hilt of her sword, ready to pull it from its sheath. She pushed all other thoughts to the side—like what she'd do when the world was saved and she would have to return to Caelin, and the knowledge that Hector was most assuredly correct about death lasting forever—and tossed her ponytail over her shoulder, the motion fluid and strangely graceful.

"Damn straight! But you know I'll win this time, too!"

"Didn't you say nothing lasts forever? I might end up proving that theory right!"


xOx…

Author Notes:

Turned out a heckuva lot longer than I intended it to, but oh well. Microfic my foot. I hope it was satisfactory, but either way, constructive criticism is still appreciated and encouraged. I'm not used to writing Hector at all… I'm not quite sure what I think of this one, myself... Thanks for reading!