Disclaimer: I do not own the rights to Fire Emblem: Fuuin no Tsurugi, or any of the characters involved. The game and all these characters belong to Intelligent Systems and Nintendo.

A Pillar

He became her pillar of strength, her ray of hope, and her reason to live. She resented it in some ways. Throughout her life, she had been rather independent. Her father was rather brash, but he always cared for her, despite their dramatic differences. Her father trained with the axe, and her mother rode a pegasus into battle. Strangely, she lived with an innate talent for magic. Her gifts surprised her parents, but they encouraged her to find her own strengths. She complied. While she lost her mother at an early age, it never gave her a feeling of isolation. Her father was always there, caring for her in his own unique way. Then a few years later, she met him. It was not immediate—far from it, actually. They were quick friends, true, but her feelings... yes, she could call them that, did not develop for years. Looking back, it may have begun when he was training in Ostia under the now-Mage General of Etruria, Cecelia.

--

"Fire!" she yelled, flames billowing around her body. The woman sent a barrage of fireballs spiraling towards the targets across the range. Each flare impacted a different mark, destroying a total of seven. The woman turned around, her long mint-colored hair tied behind her head in a ponytail. A purple cape fell from her shoulders, while a light blue riding outfit covered the rest of her body. A fire tome was held in her left hand. "Is that a good enough demonstration?" she asked, a calm look in her light green eyes.

Sitting down, a girl in a mage's robes watched the older valkyrie in awe. Long blue hair cascaded down to the middle of her back, and an amazed look shone in her blue eyes. She wore a red hat, and a red mage's blouse trimmed with gold-colored linings over a cream undershirt and skirt. Dark red wristbands were worn, and she had light red boots over her feet. On the front of her blouse, the symbol of House Ostia was embroidered with darker red fabric, and a small jewel clasped a small scarf just under her neck. "That... Lady Cecelia, I can't accomplish that feat."

Cecelia closed her eyes, smiling gently. "Nonsense, Lilina. You have an affinity for magic, and your potential amazes me," she stated. "You may not be able to perform a spell like this now, but that is how everyone starts. I remember training under Lord Pent, and being in the same situation as you. Think of this as your goal, Lilina."

The young girl sighed. "I can't complete that, Lady Cecelia."

Cecelia sat down next to Lilina, placing the fire tome in the mage's hands. "This is a lesson in life as well, Lilina. To achieve a goal, you must separate the objective into many steps. This is one of them," she said, setting a hand on Lilina's shoulder. "Lilina, do you know how to cast a fire spell?"

She looked over to Cecelia, a hurt look in her eyes. "Of course, you taught me how!"

"Calm down, Lilina. The first question has been answered, you can cast the fire spell," Cecelia continued, a peaceful look on the older valkyrie's face. "I'll outline the steps for you. First learn to control the spell, and work on how far you can send a Fire spell. Then, try casting multiple spells at once, and then work on the range at a distance," she finished. The woman stood up, leaving the tome with Lilina. "Continue practicing for today. It may take a long time, but you can accomplish the same feat."

Lilina nodded slowly, her eyes on the valkyrie, although some doubt still lingered in her blue orbs. "Alright... I understand, Lady Cecelia."

Cecelia gave the girl a kind smile, and walked out of the target range. Lilina stood up, the fire tome in her left hand. She closed her eyes, and an aura started to envelop her.

--

"Lilina?" A male voice asked, the sound slowly pervading into her consciousness. The mage opened her eyes to see the concerned look of a red-haired youth, his blue eyes filled with worry. "Are you alright?"

She blinked once, slowly realizing her situation. A blush crept onto her cheeks, and she stepped back, feeling her heart rate speed up. "I... Roy, I..." she stammered, still stunned by his 'sudden' entrance.

Roy set his hands on her shoulders. "Lilina?"

His actions only made her blush deepen. "I'm just surprised... I wasn't paying attention to my surroundings. Sorry."

Roy smiled, sighing deeply in relief. "Good. You just... you didn't move for three minutes when I came to get you."

Lilina's eyes widened. "How long was I out here?" she asked, shock evident in her voice.

The lord across from her shrugged, sitting down on one of the benches attached to the wall. She saw he was in a common training outfit of blue and red. He also wore his blue headband. "I don't know, I've been training with Lady Cecelia for a few hours."

Her eyes darted down to the fire tome in her left hand. "I..." she began, the situation slowly dawning on her. "Roy, can I try something?"

"Of course, but what do you mean?"

The mage closed her eyes, turning to face the length of the range. A red-orange glow surrounded her, as she held the tome out in front of her. She spread her hands, the tome floating in the air in front of her. Lilina opened her eyes, a fiery glow in her blue eyes. Her right arm rose above her, a fireball forming in the air in front of it. "Fire!" She brought her arm down, the ball of flame arcing across the target range. It hit the ground fifteen meters away from her. Lilina took a few deep breaths, exhaustion pervading her senses. Faintly, she had a sense of falling backwards as the tome hit the ground in front of her. However, a pair of strong arms steadied the young girl.

"Lilina, that was amazing!" she heard Roy say. "I've never seen you do anything like that!"

"I..." Lilina found herself unable to complete a sentence. "Sorry, I just don't really want to talk right now."

Roy was silent for a moment. However, he soon replied. "Alright..." He turned her around slowly, and put his arms around her. "Just let me know when you're ready to go."

She nodded slowly, closing her eyes, while leaning her head against the lord in front of her. A feeling of comfort spread through her body, and she felt an urge to not move from that position. Right now, she was just content.

--

Lilina sighed, staring out to the ocean. The Western Isles proved to be deadly and corrupt. Already, attacks from the stationed Etrurian forces plagued the Lycian Alliance army. While Roy, no, General Roy, she corrected herself had led the army and repelled the attackers, it left her with a feeling of unease. Lilina sat down on the soft grass, holding her legs close to her body. Was every country, province, and city out to kill them? It seemed so...

--

"Lady Lilina," Leygance's voice said, jolting the mage from her studies. Lilina pushed her chair away from the small table. The Ostia castle library was furnished well, with multiple tables and chairs set around for study. Lilina was in a section devoted to magic theory and practice.

"Yes, what is it, Sir Leygance?" she asked as she stood up, and turned to face the general out of respect.

"You have heard reports of a rebellion, correct?" he asked, his face betraying concern. However, Lilina could not figure out what type.

"Correct. Sir Barth was briefing me of possible traitors, but it could not be possible. There is unrest in Ostia, but it is because of Bern's invasion, not any internal problem," she stated, her face showing confidence in all her words.

"I am sorry to tell you that you are ill-informed, Lady Lilina."

Lilina felt her face pale, her eyes widen, and her body recoil in shock. "You... Sir Leygance, you cannot be correct!"

Leygance turned from the young mage. "We have found the traitors, if you wish to speak with them."

Her hand grasped at her fire tome. "I do. I must understand why someone would wish for a rebellion."

The general looked back at her. "You do not need your spellbook, Lady Lilina."

The Ostian heir stared down the general, but eventually relented. "I understand. Please lead me to the dungeons," she said, placing the book on the desk.

The pair traveled in silence. Lilina's nerves seemed to amplify, unease rising in her body. They eventually reached the dungeons, the absence of light imposing on the psyche of any prisoner.

"They are in the back," Leygance stated. Lilina nodded, unable to speak a word. She walked in silence, leaving the general at the door. Lilina reached the back in minutes... only to find that every cell was empty. One had an open door, but no signs of any occupant or a deliberate escape. Footsteps echoed behind her.

Lilina whirled around, seeing Leygance with a small unit of soldiers. "Leygance, what is this?!" she demanded, abandoning formalities in her rage.

"I am taking you to see the 'traitors,' Lilina," he said, his face changing to a cocky smirk. "Imprison her," he ordered. Two knights stepped forward in full body armor. They knew the aspects of Lilina's personality obtained from her father—none of them wanted to get bitten or scratched by the young mage. The two threw Lilina into the empty cell, pushing her to the ground. She scrambled to her feet just as the cell was locked shut. Lilina pulled herself up to the window, glaring at Leygance with fire in her eyes.

"You bastard! Just wait until Father gets here!" she screamed. Leygance simply started laughing. He turned, and walked away from the girl's cell. Lilina fell to her knees, and was silent for a few minutes. Finally, she let out a ravaged scream.

--

Lilina shivered, despite the warm air of the Isles. The memory was still recent... Leygance's betrayal occurred barely two months ago. The mage noticed a small flower near her. Entranced, she reached a small hand to feel the silky petals. It seemed a fitting metaphor; she held up an appearance of strength while in truth her pillar could collapse at any moment. Such was the flower, beautiful yet frail.

She sighed, laying back on the grass. The tragic memory was marked by one of jubilation... all revolving around Roy. That moment... one she would never forget.

--

She heard the sounds a while ago, and although they had not disappeared, some had faded while others strengthened. Sill, they were faint and it was not worth getting her hopes up. Two weeks in confinement did that to her... many times her hopes were shattered when a loyal Ostian attempted to challenge Leygance, only to be beaten and tortured to death to deter any more 'rebels' from acting.

"Father... please arrive soon..." she muttered to herself, lying on the hard, stone bed.

Lilina heard footsteps approaching her cell. The mage quickly got up, and moved to the wall closest to the door, not wanting to see her tormentor. They let her out at intervals for hygiene reasons, meaning they planned to use her as a bargaining chip in any possible negotiation, or something far more sinister. However, an odd feeling pervaded her senses. Two more pairs of footsteps could be heard. The 'twang' of a bow reached her ears, followed by a brief curse. She heard swords being drawn, and soon after the sound of someone hitting the ground rang through the dungeon. Odd... Ostian soldiers rarely used swords. Most preferred the lance or axe in emulation of Marquess Hector. Both unseen intruders approached the door, and Lilina felt her heart stop.

"This is it, right?" a hurried male voice asked, panic evident in his familiar tone.

It couldn't be...

"Correct. I have a master key to the castle, Lady Lilina will be free in moments," the other replied in a calm manner.

Lilina knew this voice—Ashtor, one of her father's spies. So her mind was not fooling her... all sense of foreboding washed away to be replaced with ecstasy as the sounds of a lock being picked filled the dungeon.

"Done," Ashtor stated as the lock fell free. The door opened, and a red haired man rushed into the cell, clad in blue-plated armor with a sword at his side.

Abandoning all sense of reason, Lilina ran to him, throwing her arms around her savior. "Roy..."

The Pheraean noble turned and gently held her. "Lilina, I'm sorry it took so long."

Smirking, Ashtor slipped away from the two, knowing when he should vanish.

"Roy, I... I want to make Leygance pay," she murmured against the man's armor. Saying nothing, he gently pushed the mage from him. The hurt look in her eyes quickly faded when Roy produced a Thunder tome from his red cloak. "I knew you would, Lilina," he stated with a knowing smile on his face. "Let's go."

--

The mage smirked slightly, remembering the desperation on Leygance's face as Roy—more specifically her—defeated Leygance before the Ostian throne. However, the events following the traitor's fall haunted her to this day. Lilina shivered, the cool grass playing a small part. Yet her memory amplified this sensation, as the days after the retaking of Ostia reverberated through her mind.

--

"Roy... I need to know," Lilina began. She knew he was avoiding her, even though he said it was because of deliberations with General Cecelia. "Why isn't Father with you?"

The red-haired man sighed, turning to face the blue-haired mage. "Lilina, well..." he stated, but instead of finishing his sentence, he took her wrist in his hand. "Come on," he urged her. Nodding, she followed him to a guest room... one she remembered him using during his stay in Ostia three years ago.

"What's your goal, Roy?" she asked, a playful tone to her voice. However, her manner faded instantly when she saw the ashen expression on his face and the pain in his eyes. "Roy? What is wrong?"

Roy looked directly into her blue eyes, but averted them before he spoke. "Lilina... I arrived at Araphen after the battle. Lord Hector... Lord Hector was mortally wounded. He... he died in my arms, Lilina..." Roy's body shook as he spoke.

She felt empty. A piece of her had been torn from her body, leaving in its place a hollow shell. "Roy, I..." Lilina whispered, shaking as she repressed the turmoil pervading her mind. "Father... Father was a warrior. I have been prepared for this..." she said, a forced undertone to her voice. She closed her eyes, trying to finish her sentence.

The next thing she felt was his arms around her. "Lilina... it's safe," Roy said in a quiet voice. In an instant, her demeanor of strength shattered like glass as she broke down, sobbing into his shoulder.

--

Roy stayed with her for hours. Not in that specific situation, but he listened as she talked about her father. He understood she would never want to be seen in that state in public or private... while she felt that he could have picked a better location, his gesture was pure. When Lilina finally calmed down... she felt indebted to him in a way. The feeling of isolation she dreaded whenever someone spoke of the possibility that her father may die on the field of battle never developed. All thanks to Roy... and he knew her. Ever since then, she had remained strong... on the outside. She knew, like any human being, that she was frail. Even Roy, who carried the air of determination and self-confidence whenever he was in command, was filled with self-doubt about his abilities and what may happen. She knew... because she understood him, as he understood her. Lilina knew her mask was fragile. Yet, one thing maintained the veneer; his presence. Roy protected her... he guided all of the, but she always felt his eyes lingering on her. During battle, he was always nearby. She felt a certain strength from him, a kind of confidence, in a way... something she did not yet understand. However, Roy would constantly act as her shield... and Lilina felt she acted as his sword.

"Lady Lilina," a soft voice called. The mage sat up, turning to see who was calling her. A woman with short pink hair stood at attention, and oddly without her armor. Wendy wore a simple undershirt, and her lance was not present. Obviously, there was nothing of major concern at the moment.

"Yes, Wendy, what is it?" she asked the armorknight, standing to face the Ostian soldier.

"General Roy is sorry, but he cannot meet you today," she stated. "My humble apologies."

Lilina shook her head slowly. "No, it's alright. I thought this would happen," she said, even though deep down she felt a sense of loss at the news.

"He did ask someone to deliver this to you," Wendy continued, holding something in her hand. Lilina extended her right arm, and Wendy placed a blue bellflower in her hand. Wendy spoke something, but the words did not register. Already, the mage was lost in her own world.

Roy... he understood her. Lilina brought the blue flora to her face, inhaling the sweet fragrance. The girl was slowly coming to understand what emotions came to her when Roy was nearby... her senses of confidence, loss, comfort, and strength all stemmed from him. Her resentment for a seeming lack of independence slowly fades, being replaced with a knowledge of how a trusted comrade is more reliable than one's own judgments. And like the flower, it would slowly bloom into acceptance of their shared strengths. It may not be now, but she knew their paths were entwined. Through the duration of this war... and possibly for long after. Lilina felt in her heart that her pillar would not collapse; Roy would always be there to mend the cracks. Right now, that was all she needed.

--

Author's note:

A quick one-shot idea that came to me a bit ago, that I outlined during downtime in some of my classes. FE6 is my favorite Fire Emblem game, and I like a number of the characters brought in. Plus, the vast amount of supports allows for a lot of imagination and character depth that is missing in the most recent one that is not a remake. Add to that I like Roy, and the Roy/Lilina couple is my favorite in FE6. Others may disagree, but that's my personal opinion. I like Roy because, quite bluntly, he's not an idiot and he doesn't need things spelled out for him. He picks up on a lot of details in FE6, and is far more attentive even from the beginning than Celice, Sigurd, or Leaf. Far better than Ike too, who has no personality it seems. Lilina, while not a great unit in the game is another one of my favorite characters because she does bring a bit of challenge to the game, and because of massive support options. This means she is one of the most-developed characters in the game, and you do see her flaws.

The story itself, yes, I am aware that in-game Lilina learns of her father's death before they obtain the Durandal, but I thought this layout would fit better for this story. Roy wouldn't want to tell her what happened in public, at least that's what I think, and the notion he would try to avoid her in a way after taking back Ostia is something I can imagine a person doing. This is reinforced in my view because Hector died in Roy's arms... and traumatic memories =/= fun.

Either way, I hope you enjoy the fic, and as always, constructive criticism is welcome!