A/N: A series of short stories, based on the life of the Avatar and his love interest post-story. Here be fluff and warm feelings.
For those waiting on a new chapter of Tainted Ideals, I'll see about getting one up relatively soon.
Chapter 1: Lucina
Robin shivered as a piercing gust of wind dug through his clothing and chilled his skin. Ferox was never truly warm, but in mid-autumn the temperature plummeted. Surprisingly though, the wildlife was almost frenetically active despite the chill, either trying to grab a last meal before settling in for hibernation or desperately trying to avoid being said meal.
Luckily, few animals dared to attack him or his companion. A lifetime of living in coexistence with the people of Ferox, renowned for their strength and fortitude, had given even the most aggressive and hungry beasts a healthy caution around humans.
"Are you alright, Robin?" He grinned slightly as the woman next to him spoke up with a concerned note in her voice. Of course, part of the reason that no animal had come near them was Lucina's watchful eye. In the face of her glare, he suspected that a wyvern would flee rather than face her wrath. "These winds are dire."
"It's Ferox, Lucina." He replied calmly. "This was kind of expected."
"Indeed." Lucina nodded, readjusting her cloak in a futile attempt to keep out the wind. "Still, if you need time to rest then simply tell me and-"
Robin's grin widened at her words and this time Lucina noticed. She sighed.
"I'm worrying too much, aren't I?" Lucina said, embarrassment clear in her voice.
"I do that a lot, don't I?" Lucina noted, her tone thick with self deprecation.
Robin didn't reply. Instead, he grabbed her swiftly, eliciting a small squeak of surprise. He turned so that the wind broke off his back, and pulled her into a tight hug.
"Robin!? What are you-?" Despite her words, she slipped easily into his embrace, her arms instinctively circling around him to draw him closer. For a few minutes, they simply stood like that, the cold wind ignored as it howled around them. Finally, Lucina spoke. "You always know what to do, don't you?"
"I am a tactician." Robin said in a cheery voice. "I can generally take a guess."
She mumbled something incoherent in response, pressing her face into his coat. He kissed the top of her head and she melted against him. He couldn't help but grin. The time he'd spent in her company had given him a great deal of experience in dealing with his lover. Being with her was not always easy, but every smile she gave, every blush that coloured her cheeks, every laugh and moment of joy on her face…
It made it worthwhile. More than worthwhile. He couldn't imagine his life without her now. He didn't want to.
His return after his 'death' had been a dramatic affair. The Shepherds had scattered after the war was done, some to seek him, others to find a new life, but it seemed that news of his return had spread with almost impossible speed. By the time he had returned to Ylisstol, the whole force had gathered. He'd been a little overwhelmed by the sheer rush of seeing all of his comrades, all of his friends, alive and well once more. The party they'd thrown in his honour seemed to spill out of the castle and onto the streets, until the whole city was alive with festivities. It'd been humbling to see that he'd touched so many lives.
But in truth, his eyes had been constantly searching for one person alone, for the woman to whom he'd pledged his life. When he'd seen her, it felt like a weight he'd never known was there had been taken from his shoulders. Their kiss had been immediate and passionate. For a few brief moments, they were all that existed in the world.
Of course, the loud and persistent mix of cheers and jibes from the crowd surrounding them had soon broken the atmosphere and the pair had been forced to break their grasp on each other, their faces scarlet. Morgan in particular seemed to have found great delight in watching them and was eager to induce Gerome into a similar situation. Needless to say, the stoic wyvern rider had fled into the night almost immediately, pursued relentlessly by Morgan.
The festival had gone on for nearly three days and by the end, most of the Shepherds were either exhausted, nursing a hangover or both. He hadn't drunk heavily himself, but as the man of the hour, he'd been dragged from one end of the city to another non-stop by one person or another. Chrom in particular had monopolised a great deal of his time, seeming to have no end of stories to share.
Eventually though, it had wound down and people had gotten back to their lives. In particular, there was a great deal that needed to be done with regards to the restoration of Ylisse. Chrom had been more than happy to drag him into that. No sooner had he sat down to rest than a bundle of papers was dropped neatly in front of him, filled with tax reports, requests for royal intervention and other joys.
Despite his newfound workload as a Royal Advisor, he and Lucina been almost inseparable, going everywhere together, dining together and (Robin's face flushed slightly as the memories crossed his mind) spending a great deal of private time together. She had even tried helping him with the paperwork, though her skills in such areas were limited. In all honestly, it'd had been the happiest few weeks of his life.
Unfortunately, such times always had to come to an end.
Lucina had never been entirely comfortable in Ylisstol. Despite the assurances of all, she had always expressed that she felt like an intruder on a world that wasn't hers. And so she'd taken to ranging, going off on patrols across the borders, looking for bandits and the like to battle.
He'd joined her, of course. There'd never been any doubt of that happening. Lucina had protested, saying that her father needed him. He'd responded that what her father needed was the knowledge that she wasn't going to run off in a fit of self-sacrifice. That had silenced her neatly.
In time, their journeys had gone farther and farther from Ylisstol, till they reached the Longfort itself. By that point, most bandits had learned to keep their heads down and stay out of trouble. The ones who hadn't were quite dead. Nevertheless, Lucina had been determined to maintain the patrol. Likely, Robin suspected, to have an excuse to stay away from Ylisstol.
And so Robin had suggested a vacation.
"Are you still not going to tell me where we're going?" Lucina asked, once they'd released each other.
"We're almost there." Robin replied mysteriously. "But I think you'll like it."
Lucina gave him a curious glance, then shrugged and continued to walk by his side.
It was no more than an hour later that they came near to the crest of a hill and Robin turned to face her.
"All right, close your eyes."
Lucina blinked once, but obeyed. "Robin?"
"Shh…" He gripped her shoulders and gently guided her to the top of the hill. "OK. Open."
Lucina's eyes fluttered open and she let out a small gasp. Below them lay a huge natural spring, thick steam pouring out of the water in the cold air. She turned to face him, eyes wide. Robin grinned. He'd found this place on a patrol in the early stages of the war. It was a little off of the beaten track, but that wasn't a bad thing.
"We aren't that old yet, but I figured we had the time to sneak away." He joked, gesturing at the pool. "It's not as deep as the one we visited before, but we do have it all to ourselves this time."
"You remembered that." Lucina murmured, her eyes sweeping over the spring with a distant gaze.
"Of course I did." Robin replied. "How could I forget?"
Lucina turned to face him.
"I also seem to remember you promising to come back from the dead if you had to." There was a strange note to her voice as she stared at him steadily.
"Which I did." Robin . "You see? I keep my word."
"You do." She said. "Sometimes I wonder if I deserve you."
Robin blinked. "…What?"
Lucina took at step forward.
"Back during the war… I nearly killed you, Robin." She looked at him, faint moisture gathered in her eyes. "I was so close to slaying the man I loved, because I couldn't believe in him when it mattered most."
"But you didn't." Robin said flatly. "In the end, you didn't. You chose to believe in me. In Chrom. In the bonds we all shared."
"No 'buts'!" Robin growled. "I could spend years lecturing myself over what I could have done. Anyone could. It's pointless. We're defined by what we do, not what we might have done."
He looked over the hot spring, and over the snowy fields of Ferox. In the distance, though he couldn't see it, stood the great city of Ylisstol, reaching proudly into the sky. He was surprised Lucina hadn't put this behind her. He certainly had. He'd forgiven her even as she raised her blade at his throat. But he supposed that was just like her, to stew on something, to endlessly berate herself for her own failures, her own perceived flaws.
"I love you. That won't change. That won't ever change." He stared into her eyes, her perfect, beautiful eyes. "Whatever path you take, whatever road you follow… I will be there. With you."
Lucina was still for a moment, then let out a small laugh. "You always know what to say, don't you?"
"Well, I am a tactician." Robin grinned. The tension drained from the atmosphere instantly, replaced by a more thoughtful but gentle air.
"After this… I think I would like to stay in Ylisstol for a while." Lucina murmured. "If my father and mother allow it."
"'Allow it'?" Robin practically gaped at her. "Lucina, they've been practically begging you to do just that since the war ended. Since before the war ended. They didn't set up a room for you as an elaborate joke."
"I suppose not." Lucina said. Suddenly, a sly and somewhat naughty look crossed her face. "Though I didn't sleep in my room much, did I?"
"Well… that's, uh, I mean-" Robin'w face went crimson.
"Oh, Robin. I truly love you." Lucina smiled then, a simple, beautiful smile that never failed to lighten his spirit. Then she grabbed his hand and led him down to the spring.
"I think it's about time we tried some mixed bathing, don't you think?" Her voice was practically a purr and Robin's heart immediately sped up.
He took one last glance up at the clear sky as they descended. The sun shone brightly in the crisp air and the wind seemed to calm with every step he took closer to the warm waters. He had the woman he loved at his side and a home awaiting him. More than a home. A family.
A cheeky, cheerful face stole across his mind and he smiled. He'd have to be sure to buy a souvenir for Morgan. No doubt when she returned from the Valley of Wyverns for a visit, she'd be full of questions as to what he and Lucina had spent their time doing. He'd have to try and distract her with a present of some kind. Chrom too, come to think of it. There was no way he was telling either his oldest friend or his daughter where he'd taken Lucina. The thought of either of their reactions if they ever found out made him smile in amusement.
Simple joys. Simple pleasures. The only spoils of victory he had ever truly desired. All he had ever wanted.
With a smile on his face and his wife's hand grasped tightly in his own, Robin walked towards the spring with a light heart and joyful steps.