"There is no real ending. It's just the place where you stop the story." ― Frank Herbert
Prologue - Never Let Me Go
For a second, she could see everything. She could pick out the faint threads of hair blowing forward, products of tresses tied too fast in the rush of oncoming battle. She could see the every gash and wound of her surrounding allies, countlessly decorating tired and unwilling limbs. She could see the shift in colour of the clouds as the evening sun hung low in the sky. But what she chose to see was the light shining off her neighbour's sword, following the proud curves of a blade never dulled, the light muting where the red began. She could have seen everything and everyone in that split-second moment, but instead her eyes lingered on the prince. He was her ally, her friend, her partner.
But then the moment vanished - time caught up with the one it had forgotten, and the ball of power came down to pierce her reflection. And as the mass of darkened light consumed its foe, she felt no regret. She thought of nothing, knowing that she was soon to be nothingness, and waited to be consumed, just as her reflection had. She had killed her nemesis, and herself.
She turned once again to the red-dark-silver-shine blade and smiled, the kind of smile which one gives to you when they are not giving up, but giving in. Something small, but infinitely precious to those not pulled under. She saw him as the sun bounced of his navy hair and his eyes filled with confusion and horror and another thousand emotions she had not the time to contemplate - as he took in what she had already seen happen a thousand times in the moment of her decision. She heard his voice, something she couldn't hear over the roar of calm that had descended onto her, but she heard her name, and turned to him.
She wanted to say, I love you, or, I will miss you, or even, I'm terrified, but why does it have to be me? But all of this was too close to the truth, the fear she couldn't give into, and the fear he might have to face.
So instead she laughed quietly to herself in the ricocheting tranquillity and said, "Thank you… For everything, Chrom."
And time continued to march on, whistling by faster and faster as if to make up for the moment it paused, and she closed her eyes and said, "Tell the others… that my last thoughts were of them. I hope we can meet again, in a better life and time."
Her last words were drowned as pain lanced down her spine, shooting through her nerves, and her thoughts scattered. She could barely think and yet she found herself also abstractly wondering about how the pain actually had nothing to do with her nervous system, but was, in reality, completely in her head.
She heard him yell her name again, a desperate attempt to call her back from the precipice. She fell into the chasm with the sound of her name on his lips, and as her time-space reality mixed with dream and shattered, she died.
Chapter 1 – Spectrum
It took a long time to return to some form of normality. For a long time, there was just confusion, but as the relief and happiness at peace mixed with grief and loss of the extended wartime hit in, a balance was reached. Throughout the land, people retuned to their lives. There were soldiers to be sent back home, nobles to coax into cooperation, documents to sign as industry fought to recover for the unsteady return of calm.
For the first time in years, the people of Ylisse could breathe a sigh of relief, knowing that war would not start in another two years, or even in for the next generation, because no one could afford it anymore. It was a tired kind of peace, the peace that comes when it has finally been won, and no one has enough strength to do anything but rest and recuperate.
For the most part, Chrom was kept busy. As the newly exalted, he had a duty to his nation. The war did not end for him when his foes were officially defeated, but when the officials finally decided that the country was getting back on its feet. It was almost 10 months before it was safe enough for him to leave the capital in the hands of his advisors, having finally led the economy and population to a placid normality.
As soon as it was safe however, he was gone to search for his missing half.
"... to do something!"
"And what do you suppose we do?"
"Um," a feminine voice, sweet and almost childish, "I don't know."
And suddenly she could see; all colors illuminated as the blue skies filled her vision, and two figures standing out against it. She was lying in a field, the sun beating down and warming the skin. The images were blurry, and if sight could be muffled, this was what it would feel like. A small gasp of surprise bubbled up from the right figure, which then softened into a smile. She felt a small bloom of pleasure at the sight of a young lady, blonde with green eyes. Lily? Larissa? No wait; it was Lissa. Lissa, she thought, and a multitude of images assailed her as she pieced together a collage of thoughts.
She had the faint recollection of a staff - ornate gold with a blue orb. The idea of a smiling laugh as hands brushed over broken skin to wipe away all traces of injury. A worried peer as she analyzed every warrior, hands reaching for the vulneraries at her belt. The faint taste of metal on the tongue after a dose of medicine. The childish stamp of her foot as impatience surfaced and a frantic squealing at the appearance of a bug. She was a strange mix of strength and fear, compliance and defiance.
"I see you're awake now," a lower voice, more masculine. Her vision focused and she saw the second figure. A tall man with proud features, two deep blue eyes watching her as he bent at the waist.
If Lissa had provoked some reaction of thought in her, it was nothing to what she was hit with at the sight of this man. Chrom, she remembered, and the onslaught of images began: of a long sword with a magnificent hilt, of a white cape that blew out behind its wearer, of him fighting, of threading her hands through his navy hair, of his blade being levelled at her, of shadows under his eyes from the nights before battle, of watching him fall to his knees in pain, of lips brushing her neck, of blood dripping down his forehead. The violence of the thoughts confused her, and though she knew that she knew him, she couldn't remember any specifics, only a mess of half-memories.
"Hey there," disorientated, she turned to follow the voice, and as her gaze moved off the man, (Chrom, she reminded herself) the confusion dulled and, glad of the temporary relief, she looked to Lissa.
"There are better places to take a nap then on the ground, you know," affection in his voice, as Lissa giggled and nodded, and, as if drawn inexplicably, she returned to looking at Chrom.
"Give me your hand," he said, reaching out toward her and smiling. Hesitantly, she placed her own hand on his, a kiss from palm to palm - noticing how small her fingers were next to his, how calloused his hand was and how the tightening of his grip sent small sparks of warmth down her arm. Then there was a dizzying rush as she was pulled upwards and towards him as she stood on unsteady feet, her face now parallel to his. As her mind cleared, he gave her a slight smile full of such relief and happiness that she felt dizzy again and had to concentrate on the two guards behind the royals to stop herself from staring at his face.
"Welcome back," he said, steady eyes staring into hers, "it's over now."
Basically, my friend has challenged me to write a fanfiction in which every chapter has the title of one of Florence and the Machine's songs, as well as having lyric quotes or references in the actual story, so here it is, hopefully it's not too terrible.
Thanks for reading, reviews are appreciated, and hopefully you enjoyed it.