"Hey, Bubbles, can we get out of this ice pot already? My fingers are starting to feel so numb they're probably as cold as ice pops!" At the comment, Ceci simply laughs at the thief. Gaius replies with a bemused grunt and a stern gaze. He isn't going anywhere any time soon without an answer from their tactician. Such is the way with the Shepherds – no one clears the area less they have either the Ylissean prince or his tactician's permission to do so. Risen hiding after a skirmish is quite common, and the Shepherds bear the weight of the whole world on their shoulders – it won't exactly hurt to be a little more cautious than normal.

"As soon as Chrom gets back checking on the civilian, we leave." She explains, back hunched and hands inside her coat in an attempt to warm herself. She dislikes the place as much as any other, but no man gets left behind ( and leaving the prince inside this ice chamber doesn't seem to be an option, if Frederick will have anything to do with it ).

Gaius mumbles something under his breath before calling for Miriel, who is huddled with a few of the other soldiers. He leaves the tactician be and goes off to join the others. He isn't one for company but the body warmth is ever welcome.

"Brr, Ceciiii –!" Lissa stumbles over, clumsy over the slippery ice as anyone else ( they silently thank Naga that Sumia fights on a Pegasus and has opted to stay on her mount for the warmth it brings ). "I-I-I'm freezing!" the princess explains, teeth chattering to further prove her point. She's shaking from head to toe. "Can't we just leave Chrom and go outside? We can wait for him out there, where's it's nice and toasty!" the tactician wants to remind Lissa that she hates the heat, but opts not to counter her.

The lost puppy dog expression on her face almost convinces their tactician, but Ceci simply shakes her head with an amused grin. "We can't. He'll have our heads, probably." She teases and coaxes a snort from Lissa. They both know Frederick would have none of their trading off the Ylissean prince for a few minutes of warmth. "Here," she motions the younger girl to come closer before taking off her signature coat and wrapping it around Lissa's shoulders. Lissa offers her a bright, appreciative grin and audibly sighs and snuggles further into the warmth of Ceci's coat. The tactician's lips curl upwards from the sight, "Better?"

"Much!" Lissa chirps, grin ranging from ear to ear.

They hear a scoff in the distance and turn to the origin. Gaius gives the tactician a grimace. "Oh, so she gets to have the coat, huh?"

Lissa sticks out her tongue and yells something about hypocrisy when they see the mages and Gaius hovering over a fire no doubt made from a spare, weak fire tome and possibly the tree branch Ceci had yet to sell ( "I knew we had some use fer it!" Ceci can almost hear Donnel cheer at the use of his scavenge during one of their skirmishes ). "Don't keep it to yourself!" Lissa announces, dashing towards their little crowd and ungracefully falls on top of Ricken.

Ceci laughs, rubbing her forearms in another attempt to warm herself. It's a good thing she listened to her gut when it told her not to wear the sleeveless shirt that morning.

She shakes her head at the sight of her comrades fooling around without a care in the world. It is as if there are no war is ongoing and no fight has ever happened in the area. She breathes a contented sigh, watching her breath turn visible in a puff of steam before she takes a cautious step forward, trying not to slip around the slippery walkway. Lissa notices her walking and grins, elbowing Gaius and telling the others to make room for their beloved Tactician.

Ceci chuckles under her breath at them, shaking her head and silently telling her comrades to stay as they were, as she wouldn't want to fully intrude on them. She stops her steps once she hears Sumia's familiar call of, "Captain!" followed by Cordelia's "Welcome back, Captain Chrom."

"Thank gods Chrom is here!" she hears Lissa gush out as she turns on her heels to give the Ylissean prince her own welcome. The usually smiling exalt has his lips tugged to a frown, his expression almost, if not alike, as serious as the day they marched to Plegia to take back Emmeryn. Ceci clears her throat and narrows her eyes, trying to tell what exactly is wrong.

"We need to talk." He says firmly, as if the cold isn't bothering him. Gaius makes an offhand comment about talking outside of the ruins before Cordelia, of all people, elbows him to quiet down. Ceci takes a cautious step towards their captain, eyebrows furrowed in confusion.

"What about?" she wants to ask if it couldn't wait until they were outside of the cavern. She knows quite well that most, if not all, of their soldiers were almost frostbitten. But a serious Chrom is not an everyday occurrence and she understands better than anyone else that there is no room for complaints when his expression is as grim as it is now. So she steels her nerves and is ready for whatever he plans to throw.

Chrom's face is neutral before he steps aside, silencing those who are close enough to see. Ceci's jaw hangs open at the sight of the young boy whose hair is as dark as hers. She has seen him before, she knows of it, but exactly where, she doesn't remember. He grins wide, brightening his face and seemingly lighting up the whole room. No one dares to speak until the boy breaks into a sprint, miraculously unable to slip even with his fast pace, and throws his arms around her, almost sending the both of them down to the cold floor.

"Mother!" he yells, and his voice echoes inside the ruins, bouncing off the damaged walls.

Ceci remembers now where she has seen him. It is every time she looks into a mirror.


a/n: this... has been in my head for a while. lots of headcanons, nowhere to place them. so here, have a fanfic that doesn't even have that much of a concrete plot [ ? ]. i'll... roll away. OTL

updates will mostly be frequent? I think! but mostly short enough to be considered drabble h.