Morgan smiled happily to himself as he shrugged out of his cloak, and though he winced at the pain that shot through him when he moved his shoulders, he didn't mind it. The delight on Nah's face from earlier had done well in making every bruise and cut on him worth it, and he chuckled a little as his face warmed with pleasure as he remembered the sheer joy in her eyes when he'd handed her the flower. He could still barely believe that such a tiny thing could bring her so much happiness, but it had, and he would ever be thankful to Naga for giving him a chance to do something for the auburn-haired manakete.
He was also glad she had believed his story about finding the blasted thing on the roadside, and as he pulled his shirt over his head, he couldn't repress a hiss of pain. The scratchy fabric pulled at the worst of his wounds on his back, and he muttered under his breath as he reached behind him to touch one of the gouges he'd earned from his one too many near falls off of the cliff-side, "I don't ever think I'm going to want to climb ever again..."
Before he could react, he heard the tent opening as someone arrived and caught him completely off guard. He didn't have time to pull his cloak to him and hide himself, and before he could even turn to see who'd walked in on him, he heard the intruder gasp in astonishment and horror, "Oh gods, Morgan!"
Freezing as he instantly recognized Lucina's voice, Morgan immediately began thinking of excuses to explain his battered body to her. He cast all excuses aside though as he knew she would catch his lie without flinching, and with a sigh of defeat, he hung his head and turned around to meet his sister's gaze. She looked as if she'd been slapped, which worried him that his wounds were worse than he had assumed. He knew his hands were horribly cut and bruised, and he'd bandaged them properly to hide them from Nah, but the rest of him hadn't been attended to just yet, and he was kicking himself savagely for his foolishness and impatience. "Uh... Hi, Lucina."
Ignoring his sheepish smile, Lucina crossed the distance between them so she could examine her brother up close. Dirt covered up some of his wounds, but she could well see that he looked rather terrible. A myriad of cuts wrapped around his lean torso, as if he had come off worse with a monster fitted with savage claws. Bruises also darkened his flesh, especially around his back and forearms, and she could guess that his legs didn't look much better. Even his face hadn't escaped the damage, as a long gash had cut open his cheek, though he had tried to slap a bandage over it to try and hide it.
Horrified to see her normally so able brother so injured, Lucina floundered for words and wondered what had happened to him. Her first thought was that he'd said the wrong thing to the wrong people, as he was prone to do with his surprising naivete, and had been subjected to an unfair beating. She cast that assumption aside quickly, knowing that if he had gotten into an argument, he likely could have handled himself and certainly wouldn't have come out of it so injured. Worried and more than a little angry, Lucina demanded sharply, "What in the world happened to you? Where did you get so many injuries and why haven't you seen a healer yet?"
Suddenly extremely embarrassed to admit the truth, Morgan scratched at the bandage across his cheek as he tried to find a way to admit what he'd been doing without giving away too much to his sister. He could see it in her eyes that she was ready to go and fetch their parents, probably along with Aunt Lissa to have him treated, and he hastily tried to answer her before she could actually do it, "I was, uh... hunting! Yeah, I was hunting and got a bit lost, and when I was trying to find my way out, I ended up getting a bit banged up!"
Raising her eyebrows, Lucina pursed her lips as she crossed her arms over her chest and gazed at him with a mixture of disappointment and anger that reminded him worriedly of their mother when she was close to losing her temper. He wondered if she noticed that her eyes tended to flash the exact same way, but he knew better than to raise that piece of information to her at this particular moment. She likely would hit him if he did, and he doubted he could escape her in the condition he was in. Her voice was flat and perfectly calm, which only let him know that he truly was in deep trouble with her as she asked him, "Now will you try telling me a lie I may actually have a chance of believing? 'A bit banged up'? Morgan, have you even took a moment to look at yourself? You look terrible! Some of those cuts are seriously deep!"
"Well, I was hunting... just not for food." Morgan muttered sourly, but as Lucina's eyes flashed with fury, he immediately trotted three steps backwards and out of the range of her hand, and Falchion. She had a tendency to go for her sword whenever she lost her temper, and many a time he'd fled from her wrath trying to remember that he really shouldn't irk her half as much as he did unless he had a wish to leave their family with one less child. Raising his hands, Morgan hastened to soothe her while keeping his secret, "I just was doing a bit of climbing, that's all! Turns out that it's not really my strong suit, and I fell down a lot! Really, that's what happened!"
Frowning deeply as she sensed the hint of truth in his words but knowing he wasn't giving her the whole story, Lucina mused on her options. The largest part of her was demanding she drag him to their parents and let them have at him for being such a fool, but another was honestly baffled by his desire to cover up his true reasons, especially from her. They never had kept secrets from each other before, and it hurt a little to think that he didn't trust her with the truth. She could drag the story out of him if she really wanted to, and from the fear flitting across his face, she guessed it wouldn't take too much to do so, but she felt bad about frightening him into submission, especially when he was so hurt. For whatever reason he had gained those wounds it obviously had been important to him if he was going to lie, and she couldn't in good faith ignore that.
Sighing as she realized she loved him too much to give him over to their parents just yet, Lucina shook her head as she told him in a resigned mutter, "Just... Sit down over there on the cot, and let me have a look at you. I am no healer, but I'll try and treat you as best as possible if you won't go see anyone."
Surprised by her turnaround, Morgan did as he was bidden without a word. He lay face-down on the cot, using his bruised forearms as a pillow as he heard his sister rustling around the tent for vulneraries and bandages to treat his wound. After a few moments she came to his side, seating herself on the edge of the cot as she ran an inspecting hand carefully over his heavily marred back.
A scowl curled at her lips as she saw the damage up close, and Lucina shook her head as she began spreading the medicine across his wounds. He hissed in surprise at the stinging sensation that immediately started burning in the open injuries, but she didn't apologize as she kept up the steady pace of treatment. She was no healer but many a time she had been forced to play the role of one, and though she was a little firm in her hand, she was quick and efficient. She couldn't hold back a curse of her own though as she inspected a rather large gouge running down the curve of his spine, and she knew from the shape of the wound that he'd slid hard against an outcropping of sharp stone while falling off the side of the cliff he'd evidently been climbing. "May the gods damn you for a fool, Morgan... Some of these will scar, all healing aside. Was whatever you were after really worth putting your life on the line?"
"Yes." Morgan answered her firmly and without hesitation, surprising both himself and his sister with his immediate response. Though he hadn't really considered his life when he had been climbing the cliffs in search of the flower, he realized when he'd seen Nah's face light up with delight that the risk had certainly been worth the reward. He would do it again and again if he could see that beautiful smile on his friend's face, and his heart gave a quick drum-roll against his ribs as he felt deep pulse of pleasure spread through his chest at the image of her grin in his mind.
He lost count of how many things he had done to soothe his comrades and make them smile, and truthfully, he never paid much attention to his own kindness. He thought anything to be worth it as long as he was lifting the spirits of the people around him, but he knew Nah was special. Her happiness he valued over anyone else's, and her gratitude for what he'd done had made him feel weightless with joy. Closing his eyes as his pleasure became bittersweet because she would never know just how much she meant to him, he repeated quietly in answer, "Yes... it was worth it."
Now deeply concerned as she sensed the change in her brother's normally so unshakeable attitude, Lucina halted in her treatment as she wondered what it was that was biting into him so. He never looked so pained before, and that was even without his usual front of optimism that kept anyone from ever seeing too deep inside his worries. Her hand gentle, Lucina reached to squeeze his shoulder with care as she questioned him softly, "Morgan... What were you after?"
Unable to lie and knowing that it was useless to, Morgan closed his eyes and buried his face in his arms as he answered her soft and almost timid question wearily, "A flower. For Nah."
"Nah?" Whatever she had been expecting, Lucina admitted that flower-hunting was certainly the furthest thing from it. Baffled as to why he was so hurt if he had succeeded in getting what he was after, and more than a little angry that he'd put his life on the line to find something as simple as a flower, Lucina demanded with a bit more heat that she mused was probably necessary, "You nearly killed yourself getting a flower for a girl?"
Morgan stiffened under her hand, and without even thinking about it, he pushed himself up a bit and glared at her over his shoulder. He wasn't about to let anyone belittle what he had done for Nah's happiness, especially when she didn't even try to understand why he would go to such lengths for the half-blooded manakete. His voice was sharp as he rebuked her, "It was important to her, Lucina! She needed it, and you didn't see how upset she was that she had no idea where to start looking for it! I'd do it again, too!"
Eyes widening a little, Lucina was struck speechless by the ferocity that darkened his gaze and sharpened his voice enough for his tongue to let blood. She'd never seen him like this, and she worried that the boy she was treating wasn't really her brother. He seemed so completely changed that she felt as if she was running a race and was constantly five steps behind everyone else. Close enough to know victory wasn't completely out of her reach but also far enough away that the pain would be all the sharper when the loss came because she just would never catch up. 'What in the name of the...? When did he start looking so... mature? He... He almost looks like a grown man.'
Her eyes widened all the way as the thought brought to her complete understanding, and her face reddened as embarrassment came quickly on its heels. His kindness suddenly seemed perfectly logical, even if she still thought it intensely foolish, but she couldn't feel as angry as she had three minutes ago when he'd lied to her about it. If their positions had been reversed, she likely would have lied too.
Resisting the urge to slap her forehead, and probably his too, Lucina forced herself to shake her head underneath his poisonous glare and murmur with quiet resignation, "Ah gods, you're in love with her. When did you even start paying attention to women? I never pegged you for the type to even look twice at someone until you were well into adulthood."
"It's not exactly like I made a conscious decision about it, Lucina." Morgan muttered sourly as she pushed him back down gently so she could continue rubbing the medicine into his wounds before she could start on his chest and sides. He knew she was honestly surprised, and truthfully, he was as well. He had never really given much thought to romance before. He was always too focussed on his studies, on keeping everyone else happy, and affairs of the heart never had much of an influence on his interest.
Yet Nah had made the change in him, and she had done it swiftly. Her smiles warmed him in a way little else could, and her frowns brought him the worst of worry and pain. He never wanted to see her look troubled, and if there was anything he could do that would please her, he knew he'd do it without hesitation. Cost didn't matter when it came to her. Nothing really did. "I just... I just love her. She was so upset that she didn't even know where to start looking... when I found out where I could find the flower, I didn't think twice about going after it for her. I know it was stupid, but I just... wanted her to smile."
"You really are an idiot." Lucina sighed as she shook her head, wondering how someone whose intelligence was practically unparalleled, save when compared to their mother, could be such a fool. She mused though that most men simply tended to lose their logic when around females, and she ruffled his hair with a scolding but gentle hand as she asked him, "Do you truly think she needed the flower to smile? Morgan, are you blind as well as daft? Nah... She has been extremely fond of you for ages."
The shock in his face was nearing comical, and Lucina bit down on her lip so she wouldn't laugh when his eyes nearly popped out of his head as he turned to look at her and demand in a surprisingly higher pitched tone of voice, "Wh-What?! How do you know that?! Did she tell you?!"
"No, and she didn't need to. In case you forgot, I am a woman, and I do know how a woman's mind works. She can't look at you straight on in public, and she tends to get embarrassed when you talk to her when others are around. She has few friends, but those she does keep are extremely close to her... but no one is as close to her as you are." Lucina explained with an exasperated shake to her head, and she patiently pushed her brother's head down again so she could finish with his back. Now that she had spread the vulneraries, she was glad to see that most of his wounds only looked bad and were surprisingly superficial in depth. She continued on as she sensed her brother's disbelief, "Added to that... She never is far from you on the battlefield, haven't you noticed? You two fight together so often that you've completely learned each other's styles of combat and make a rather formidable duo. Mother has even mentioned it once. If I needed more proof, then her telling me to check up on you today is probably the best to give you."
Now unable to move even if he wanted to, Morgan was completely and utterly shocked by the tidbits of information he had never once picked up on. Yet he knew Lucina wasn't lying to him about it, forcing him to accept it all as truth. His heart sped up in his chest, and his face warmed with a mixture of delight and pain that he'd been so blind as he asked quietly, "Nah... Nah sent you after me?"
"Yes, she did. She found me practising my drills on the outskirts of camp, and asked me to check in on you. She said she was too embarrassed to do so herself, and was worried you may get annoyed with her." Shaking her head still, Lucina drew away to let him roll onto his less injured side so she could attend to his chest before she continued with a soft and tired chuckle, "I thought perhaps you had gotten into an argument, but this certainly wasn't what I expected when I saw you so hurt. You do owe her an apology for worrying her, though. She really was concerned. You probably should never lie again as long as you draw breath too, because you truly are bad at it."
"I-I... Gods." Morgan groaned as he covered his face with a hand, wondering how, if possible, could he humiliate himself any further. On top of his sister, Nah had seen right through him, making him wonder why he'd bothered lying to her in the first place. She probably thought him a complete fool, and he felt like one for underestimating her. She always had been an intelligent youth, and he couldn't believe he'd actually thought he'd gotten the best of her. "Do me a favour, Lucina, and kill me. Right now. I am never going to be able to face her again as long as I live. Just kill me and be done with it."
"If it was that easy to solve your problem, I may actually have taken mercy on you and done it." Lucina said with a hint of a sympathetic but playful smile curling at her lips. She ruffled his hair gently, patting him twice on the head as she had to take pity on his embarrassment. It was a new side of him that she hadn't gotten the chance to see before, but she was rather taken with it. For all his maturity he still was her little brother, and she rather enjoyed knowing he could make such a fool of himself. "Don't be so melodramatic, and remember that it would take more than just lying to save her from worry to make her dislike you. Fool you may be, and a rather large one at that, but she does love you for it all the same. She wouldn't have asked me to look after you otherwise."
Not removing his hand from his face, Morgan wondered if his blush was as hot on his cheeks as it felt. Lucina wasn't commenting on it, which he was grateful for, though he knew it had to be in her thoughts. She always did like teasing him when she had the chance, and she definitely had many. Still, he was concerned for Nah, and hoped he hadn't angered her with his lies. Not wanting to know, but still knowing he had to, he asked quietly between his fingers, "Was she... really upset when she asked you?"
"I wouldn't say she was upset, but she was definitely concerned for you. And most certainly embarrassed for even raising the topic to me. I knew you two were close, but I'd never thought of broaching the subject to either of you. I didn't believe it was my place to interfere in your affairs, and I didn't even think you were aware of her feelings for you, let alone reciprocated." Lucina answered him honestly, and she was happy to see his frown lessening a little and turning into a hesitant but honest smile. His blush was worsening, but the joy underneath it was more than worth it to her. Unable to resist, Lucina ruffled his hair again as she told him with a little laugh, "You should have picked two flowers. One for the original reason, and a second for an apology."
Glaring at her through his fingers but unable to really be annoyed because she was smiling at him and making him want to laugh, he tried to ask with mock-anger, "You won't ever let me live this down, will you?"
"Likely not." Lucina once again replied with complete honesty and without hesitation. A catty smile turned up her lips and sent a bolt of fear through him as she added on with a hint of relish and definite devilish amusement, "Nor will Mother or Father once they discover where it was you ran off to all day."
"Whoa, you can't tell them!" Morgan nearly jumped off the bed cot with fright, and laughing, Lucina gamely held him down. Knowing he would find his death at his parents' hands and not wanting to experience such agony before he died, he shook his head as he begged his unrepentant sister, "Mother will skin me alive if she finds out what I did and Father will tan what's left of me with Falchion! Have mercy, Lucina! I'm your baby brother, do you really want to be responsible for the death of your only sibling?!"
"You're much too dramatic for your own good. Sit down, already." Lucina scolded him through her giggles, and though she tried to be serious, the look of panic in his eyes was too stark for her to ignore entirely. For better or for worse, both of them were terrified of angering their parents, and with good reason. Still, she liked to think she knew them well enough to say with confidence that they wouldn't be as angry as Morgan feared, and she explained with a hint of remaining laughter, "Likely Father will laugh, though Mother may give you a well-deserved slap to the head for being such a fool. It was a completely reckless thing you did, but your heart was in the proper place, and that they will understand without fail. I'm sure both of them did a motley of foolish things when they were courting too."
"That's an odd thing to imagine, but it does make me feel a bit better to think about it..." Morgan had to agree, and he settled back onto the cot with a smile as he let Lucina continue with her treatment. She was still laughing, and he was glad to see her so happy for once. She rarely let down her sternness in camp unless she was around him or their parents, and he always took advantage of that smile he loved so much. Now he raised an eyebrow thoughtfully, barely able to hide the mischief in his smile as he mused, "Though, it does raise one question..."
Confused, Lucina tilted her head as she tightened knot on the swathe of bandaging she had just finished wrapping around his torso. She checked to make sure it was suitable for him and loose enough to not constrict his breathing before she asked with raised eyebrows of her own, "It does?"
"Yeah." Morgan nodded, and now his smile was fully spread across his face and full of playful malice as he asked her sweetly, "When are you going to find somebody to court? Unless you already have and are keeping it a much better secret than I am."
It was Lucina's turn to come off the cot, and Morgan started laughing well before she had the mind to protest his words. Embarrassed beyond words, Lucina spluttered for a long moment before she found her voice again, and though she wanted to be sharp and unrelenting in her retort, she found she just couldn't do it. "I-I-I resent that implication! I don't have time for romance, nor the inclination to pursue it! N-Now is most certainly not the time to be indulging in those kind of things!"
Laughing uncontrollably at the complete about-face, Morgan had to take a moment to remember to breathe so the bandages around his chest didn't feel so damned tight around his aching ribs. His sister was extremely susceptible to teasing if one knew the manner of how to go about it without angering her, and Morgan had versed himself well in the art. He pointed out between chuckles with a wag of his finger, "Mother and Father fell in love during the war."
"How so? Actually, when you look around, practically everybody in camp met and fell in love during the war between Ylisse and Plegia. Though it's probably not right to say it, it seems war has a strange way of bringing people together. It seems a bit weird that you're resisting it so much." Morgan couldn't resist countering her protest, and it seemed that a light went on in his face as he read between the lines of her words and took a long and searing look at her blushing face. She seemed a bit too protesting to just be embarrassed about the thought of courting a man, and he asked with honest curiosity and surprise, "Ooh, wait, does this mean you have found someone that caught your fancy, and you're just trying to deny it?"
"M-Morgan! Still that tongue of yours before I cut it out!" Lucina demanded hotly, and though she hated herself for it, her face was burning like a campfire and she couldn't still it. Her blush was only adding fuel to Morgan's teasing, and she knew he wouldn't leave her alone unless she nipped his curiosity right in the bud before he could really get going. "You shouldn't ask anybody that kind of thing, let alone your sister!"
"But it's because you're my sister that I'm asking!" Morgan pointed out with wide and earnest eyes that on any other occasion, may have succeeded in making Lucina cave in to his questions. He was terrible at sliding past her defences, and he knew it as he continued in a wheedling tone, "And if you're getting this flustered, you totally have to at least have noticed someone in camp! Who is it? Can you tell me?"
Not taking the bait, and flushing so hot it was almost getting hard to think, Lucina denied him with a shake of her head and a sharp, "Th-There's no one!"
"Aw, you're going to make me guess? Well, I suppose that I should be able to arrive at the answer by the process of elimination..." Morgan actually had the bravery to look let-down for a brief moment before he picked himself up again and met her shocked stare with a confident grin. He loved solving problems and mysteries, and she had a bad feeling that it wouldn't take him long to delve into the truth behind her embarrassment. "Let's see... It's probably safe to assume that it's someone in the main company but not one of the soldiers from this era... It can't be Gerome, because Cynthia practically stalks him all day and he gets really flustered whenever she does. Yarne, maybe? Oh wait, he has a crush on Kjelle, and they've been doing a lot of intense training together lately... Hmm... Who could it be?"
"Morgan, I swear by all that's holy–" Lucina began with a growl, but Morgan was now completely ignoring her. He sat up with his chin in his hand, tapping his thumb against his cheek like he usually did when confronted with a problem he couldn't solve at once. She had seen that expression on his face many a time when he and their mother had played that strategy board game they loved so much, and even though he'd ever once managed a victory... She was beginning to become very afraid he may get one in this case.
"Then there's Owain, but he is our cousin, and Severa kind of has had a thing for him for as long as I've known her...Aha, wait!" Pounding his fist into his closed hand, Morgan's entire face brightened with cheer as he apparently stumbled upon the answer. Lucina's blood went cold and her eyes widened in horror as he declared proudly, "I know who it is!"
"It's obvious, actually!" Morgan laughed aloud, and he shook his head at the disbelief clouding his sister's wide eyes. He took great satisfaction in knowing he could get to her secrets in so little time, and he sat back in the cot and swung his legs like a glad child as he chuckled to himself, "I wonder why I didn't think of it before!"
Her hand jumped of its own accord to Falchion's hilt, and she tried to remember that she loved this boy who was almost begging her to unleash pain on him for his mockery. Her eyes were narrowed to dangerous slits, and her voice was a deadly and threatening growl as she warned him one last time, "One more word, Morgan, and I swear I will make myself an only child!"
"Aww, won't you at least let me say the name?"
Her brother was saved by the tent's door opening a little bit, and as if she had been summoned to spare Lucina's flesh and blood from a terrible and likely extremely painful death, Nah poked her head in with a ferocious blush coating her cheeks. She called hesitantly as her eyes settled on Lucina standing over her brother with her hand on Falchion, "Um, pardon me? Morgan, I– Oh, yeesh, I'm sorry, am I interrupting something?"
Taking this chance and praising the gods for coming to her aid, Lucina hastily dropped her hand from her sword, turned on her heel and fled the tent as fast as her legs could carry her before Morgan could remember what he was about to say and likely seal his own death. She didn't want to know who he had been about to name as her secret lover, and she was almost completely certain she would kill him regardless of the guess. She called over her shoulder as she swept by a very confused Nah, "He's all yours, Nah. If you'll excuse me."
"Hey, wait, Lucina!" Morgan called after her, but his sister was already gone. She certainly could move whenever she had the inclination, and he yelled out after her in hopes that she'd hear him and hopefully feel a little bit bad for ruining his fun, "Oh come on, that is so unfair! You're such a spoilsport!"
Shaking her head with amused exasperation, Nah entered the tent and folded her over her stomach as she watched the navy-haired tactician growl unhappily and flop back down on the cot with the air of a child refused his favourite treat after supper. Though she wanted to know exactly what she had interrupted but knowing better than to ask, Nah instead scolded him lightly as she approached him, "Morgan, if you had a single bone of self-preservation in your body, you really wouldn't tease your sister like that."
Not seeming to notice the danger he had been in, or not caring, Morgan just smiled at her concern as he said cheerfully like it explained everything, "But it's fun."
Trying not to laugh because it would only encourage his bad behaviour, Nah stopped once she reached his bedside, feeling herself lapse comfortably into their old pattern of playful banter and casual conversation. It was an easier pattern to follow, and she bit down on her lower lip to stifle a giggle as she sighed with mock drama, "One of these days she actually is going to try and kill you..."
"No, she wouldn't do that." Morgan disagreed with a little laugh, but there was some seriousness entering his eyes as he shook his head and sat back up. He crossed his own arms around his stomach, mirroring Nah unthinkingly as he explained with a chuckle, "She talks big, but she loves me deep down, even if I drive her absolutely mad sometimes. She got the chance to tease me endlessly earlier, so I was just really getting my revenge. You know how I am, I can't take a hit without dishing out two in return!"
Now knowing she wouldn't be able to hold in her laughter, Nah tried her best to at least soften the giggles so he wouldn't get too cheered by her amusement to his words. He had a bad habit of getting overenthusiastic if he was encouraged even a little bit, and she didn't want to worsen it, and actually watch him provoke Lucina further because of her. Waving a hand in front of her face so she didn't look too amused, she scolded him with a stifled snicker, "You really are too reckless."
Much to her surprise, all of the wind seemed to be taken out of his sails at her comment, making her wince inwardly in guilt for ruining his happy mood. He actually frowned and dropped his gaze from her eyes, his hands curling into fists against the bandages on his stomach as he said quietly and with all mirth now gone from his voice and posture, "... Y-Yeah... I am. I'm sorry."
Suddenly realizing why he had become so meek, Nah felt heat rush into her cheeks and melt her feet to the ground. She hadn't thought she was insulting him, and she immediately hated herself for it. Just seeing him slump down, holding his bandaged body like he was honestly ashamed, Nah felt instantly guilty for sending Lucina after him, even if she had only done it because she'd been worried about the wounds she'd spotted when he'd given her the Naga's bell. "Oh... um... Morgan, I–"
"I shouldn't have lied to you earlier about where I got the flower." Morgan cut her off quietly, his voice serious and surprisingly tense as he looked up to meet her eyes. Her blush increased tenfold as she saw the emotion swirling in the dark onyx of his irises, and she pursed her lips as she let him finish what she knew he needed to say even if she didn't want to hear it. "I just... I didn't want you to worry about me, or feel obligated to accept it because of what I risked to get it. Plus, I... I just wanted to make you happy. I'm sorry, Nah."
"N-No, don't apologize... I was happy. Really happy." Nah protested with a quick shake of her head, and she felt herself wanting to cry because of how utterly upset he looked to have worried her. Biting deep on her lower lip, Nah forced herself to continue even though she was blushing terribly and wanted nothing more than to run and hide, "When you handed me the flower... I was so touched, and I... I wanted to tell you that. A-And... I also wanted to tell you that I got what I was asking for."
"You did? Hey, that's–" Morgan's expression changed from happiness to confusion within a tenth of a second, and he shook his head in complete bafflement as he cut off his congratulations to her. Nah giggled at his switch of emotions, softening his confusion but not enough for him to not ask, "Wait, you were asking for world peace and happiness, weren't you? Did I miss something? 'Cause I'm pretty sure the bad guys are still trying to kill us."
"No, I meant... my other request." Nah smiled sheepishly, feeling the blush now burning up her face and into the very tips of her pointed ears. She fidgeted a little, but she knew there was no going back now that she had let it out, and truthfully she was enjoying the thrill even if it scared her half to death to be on the ride.
"You had another request?" Morgan became aware of that plume of hope Lucina had awoken in him spreading through his heart, especially as he noted Nah's bright red cheeks and the tender way she was holding his gaze. She'd never looked at him so, and he was surprised to find that he rather liked it more than he thought he would. He could infer what he wanted from her, but at the same time, he was suddenly desperate to hear her say the words aloud. It didn't matter that he'd heard it from his sister who he trusted implicitly, because the words meant much more when he could hear them from Nah herself. "Wh-What was it?"
"... For... For the person I love to love me back." Nah whispered softly, and Morgan's sharp inhale told her that he understood exactly what she wanted him to. A blush had made itself known on his cheeks now, and his eyes had widened a little, but he held her fast with his gaze and made her continue in a somewhat shaky murmur, "But now I don't need to ask Naga, because it turns out... he loved me all along."
Smiling warmly, Morgan reached out to take one of the hands that had been dangling at her sides, and instinctively he twined his fingers with hers the moment she relaxed into his grip. Her own smile grew in response, and she folded her other hand over his as she murmured softly, "When I saw how you risked your life to get the flower for me... I was... overjoyed to know you cared. It scared me a bit too, but... I... I really was happy. I... I'm in love with you, Morgan."
Morgan tugged her hand gently, and before she could protest, she stumbled against the cot and into his lap. Laughing, Morgan wound his arms around her thin frame and held her close, nuzzling against her hair as a feeling of happiness ballooned in his chest and made it hard to breathe. "I'm really, really happy to hear you saying all this to me, Nah. It... feels a little ticklish coming out and saying I love you, though."
"But you've said it through so much more than words." Nah reminded him quietly as she wound her arms around his shoulders to return his hug. He was holding her so gladly, without worry or hesitation, and it warmed her entire body from the inside out to be handled in such a way. He embraced her just like he spoke, without reservation and with every inch of his emotions. Resting her cheek against his shoulder, Nah sighed with happiness as she pointed out, "Risking your life to find me a flower? I don't think there are many who would do such a thing. I knew the second you handed me the flower how you felt... it rushed through me like a wave."
"Good, I'm glad." Morgan chuckled, and before he really knew what he was doing, he'd kissed her hair and then pulled away a little so he could look into her face. She was smiling brightly, her eyes dancing with pleasure, and he found the courage that had been evading him ever since he'd really understood just how important the half-blooded manakete in his arms meant to him. "But words are important too, so lemme try those: I love you, Nah."
A brilliant smile curled her lips as his declaration, and Nah laughed aloud as she leaned forward to kiss him soundly on the mouth. He gasped a little at the contact, but then he was laughing too, pressing his lips against hers just as clumsily but just as happily. Warmth infused them both from wherever they touched, and she couldn't stop her blissful giggles as she exclaimed with delight, "I love you too!"
"Yeah, that's gonna take awhile to get used to, but it feels good. I think I'll adjust quick." Morgan chuckled uncontrollably, pulling her back for a second kiss that he hoped let her know everything he felt. This time their laughter died out, and his body took the embrace much more seriously than it had last time. Her gloved fingers stroked his shoulders as she held on tight to him, and his own hands curled in her hair as his mouth moved searchingly against hers, memorizing every new feeling and storing it away so he'd never forget it. She sighed into his lips, her body becoming remarkably pliant in his arms as she leaned dreamily into him, and he held her tight and with complete and utter joy. When they finally pulled away, both of them were blushing as red as cherries, but their eyes danced with amusement and pleasure and made them forget what it was like to feel awkward and embarrassed.
Brushing his fingers along her cheek, Morgan asked with a roguish smile as she leaned into his caress, "So, did Naga have anything to say about all of this?"
"Probably. I'll ask her, hold on." Nah closed her eyes, unable to stop her smile as she leaned into his chest and bowed her forehead against his shoulder. He ran his hand automatically down her hair, smoothing out the rumples he'd made when he'd kissed her as she opened her heart to Naga to find out if the goddess had much to say about their newfound happiness. After a brief moment she opened her eyes again, and she was grinning cheekily at him as she reported her findings. "She said to get a room."
Snorting with amusement, Morgan glanced around the empty tent before he shook his head and shrugged, "Well, we have a tent, so I'd say that counts as her giving us her blessing!"
"I'd say so!" Nah laughed with him, and she curled her arms around him once more and hugged him tight as he did the same to her. She rested her cheek against his chest, enjoying the feeling of his bare skin touching hers, and she sighed again with perfect and utter completion. She had never thought she'd enjoy someone's embrace so much, and as Morgan's arms tightened a little around her, she knew he felt the exact same way.
-giggles- This was a new type of romance to write, lol, fun and innocence. I normally just delve right into romance and passion, but it was nice to do something quirky and youthful instead for a change. XD It helps that I just cannot picture Morgan ever... well, being romantic. XD But in all honestly, Morgan is probably the most childish out of all of the children from the future. He's cheerful, gung-ho, and surprisingly blithe to the point of adorkableness, and you just wanna give him a huge hug until he pops. XD
Nah is also that cute. I loved her support with the female tactician and how she was just so pleased to hear that she was thought of as a little sister. I always pictured their A-rank ending with Nah glomping the tactician around the middle and sending them both into the grass...
So when I wrote this, I just knew I had to play up the cheerful angle between them and that new and refreshing feeling of being in love and being so damn happy about it that there's more laughter than awkwardness. My first kiss was extremely awkward, lol, but as I progressed through the relationship, there was a lot of laughter involved as I learned to let go of my awkwardness and grow into the role of a girlfriend. I think that's the key to having a good and lasting relationship (and yes, we did eventually break up, but just listen XD), a lot of laughter and trying to make everything that's happening new and fun. Be serious of course when it calls for it... but be a kid too. :3
PS: NAGA IS A SHIPPER ON DECK, AND THAT'S ENOUGH FOR ME. 8D
PPS: ... I realized I made this half of a sibling fic, and half of a romance fic... XD I fail at life.
Listening To: "Orenji" - Yui Horie, Eri Kitamura, Rie Kugimiya (Toradora ED 2)