That's right, you're getting another crack pairing. You have my friend Yoshi to blame for this one. The theme was the title, but in the end it didn't really have much to do with the fic. =/ Other than Shinon being a bit blue at the start, I guess?

Anyway. Please review. I'll laugh if anyone actually starts supporting this.

Adjustment/Sellsword/Ellipsis will be updated Tuesday, all things going according to plan.

EDIT: Sorry! I C+P'd this from MS Word, not realising it destroyed the italics. Should be better now.

The arrow flew straight and true, splitting the target in half with a shriek of wind. Shinon grumbled to himself. He knew he shouldn't be loosing his anger like this, but what other outlet was there? Stupid whelp. I shouldn't have ever agreed to train him. Mostly, he felt betrayed. But there was also that stupid, aching sense of pride in knowing that his only student had surpassed him. And then, there was that fierce belief that Rolf shouldn't be on the battlefield even despite his skill. He was just a kid. He'd already seen way beyond what any kid should have to see. Ike had made excuses for Mist staying at camp now that they were so close to the capital, but he seemed to be fine with Rolf taking part. When such small numbers were required, he'd even left Shinon behind in favour of the young archer. It wasn't right. Shinon nocked another arrow and sent it flying towards the already broken target.

"My, you seem distracted this evening."

Shinon turned in the direction of the voice to find Nasir stood beside a nearby tree. He scowled. "What the hell do you want?"

Nasir smiled, tapping his fingers lightly against his arm. "I merely came to observe your marksmanship. That is all."

"Yeah? Well, I don't need a stinkin' sub-human putting me off my game," Shinon growled. He turned away.

This only served to amuse Nasir further. "You really are the most stubborn beorc I've ever had the misfortune to come across. Our races are not as dissimilar as you appear to think. In fact, given the current situation, I would argue that we have much in common."

Shinon turned on him. "And what's that supposed to mean?"

"You are worried for your student, are you not?" Nasir's face was unreadable.

"He's not my student." Shinon was just a fraction too quick to respond, his tone defensive.

"No? Then who taught him? That sort of skill is not mere talent, and you were the only other archer in the mercenary group when he began to learn. Correct me if I'm wrong." Shinon did not answer, and Nasir's smile broadened. "So I am right. Why you wish to keep your relationship secret is not my business, of course. However, let me reassure you that I understand your current predicament entirely. I also have someone who I would rather stay safe and off the battlefield."

Shinon glared at him. "You say that as though you expect me to give a damn."

Nasir chuckled. "No, no. I was merely empathising. My granddaughter is also far too young to be out on the battlefield. Naïve enough to believe in true love at such a tender age…Tch."

"You mean there's another of your lot hiding in our little ragtag bunch?" Shinon rolled his eyes and released another arrow. "Just what we need. More halfbreeds."

Nasir was quiet for a moment, as though gathering his thoughts. "She is…fighting for a different cause."

Shinon's eyes widened. "She's with Daein?" He broke into a grin, completely forgetting his previous concentration at target practice. "I take it Ike doesn't know about this?"


"Good. That whelp doesn't deserve to learn from anybody else's mistakes. He's making enough on his own."

"You really are rather bitter, you know." Nasir raised his eyebrows.

All he received in return was another glare. "Think what you like. I don't give a damn." Shinon turned away.

"I only wish I could believe you." Nasir laughed softly. "But I believe you've demonstrated that you more than give a damn about your young pupil."

Shinon's fists clenched. "Shut it. Just say whatever you came here to stay and get out of my sight already."

"Very well. I have a proposal for you."

"Not interested."

"At least hear me out." Shinon pretended to ignore him, and began nocking arrows once more. Nasir continued speaking regardless. "I might be able to convince Ike against taking Rolf into further battles."

There was a lengthy pause. "…I'm listening."

"That is, I am able to raise concerns to Ranulf, who has become rather close to the commander over the past few months. I will do my best to ensure that your student remains out of harm's way."

Shinon regarded him carefully. "And? What's in it for you?"

Nasir smiled. "It isn't as much what is in it for me as…what it will cost you." Seeing Shinon's bemused expression, he clarified. "I can't stand to see such an arrogant beorc. I believe your pride could stand to be taken down a notch or two."

"You halfbreeds sure as hell have some weird kicks," Shinon sneered.

"Perhaps," Nasir conceded. "And yet…you have little choice but to obey, do you not? Should you wish for the young boy to stay safe, then…"

"Then what?"

"Beg." Nasir's expression was unreadable. "Fall on your knees and grovel ."

Shinon stared at him. "What?"

"You heard me."

"No, I mean…" Shinon chuckled. "That's the best you could come up with? I have a more…interesting plan."