The Sixteen-Year Crush – Chapter Three
It was dawn when the camp began to stir. Breakfast was being prepared, as tired soldiers were prompted out of their tents. Inigo, one of the stragglers to the breakfast tent, yawned as he rubbed the lethargy from his eyes. Of the firsts he could see were his father, Lon'Qu, with a dozing Olivia sitting beside him. He took his seat next to his father, greeting, "Good morning Father, Mother." Lon'Qu grunted, while Olivia muttered an intangible reply.
Robin, who had already finished, paused in front of Inigo. "Good morning Inigo, I hope you've slept well?" Inigo nearly beamed, as it was one of the rare moments she'd begin a conversation.
"Of course, since my dreams were full of you." He smiled. Robin shook her head, muttering, "Of course you had." She glanced at Lon'Qu and, upon noticing his expression, smiled wryly. Redirecting her attention to Inigo, she decided it was time for her to return to her tent. "I suppose I'll be seeing you later then."
Inigo nearly jumped from his seat, as he watched her walk away. His heart thumped wildly. He couldn't believe his ears. She was expecting him. Had his attempts finally worked? Had she begun to realize he was a man and not just a child?
Meanwhile, Lon'Qu frowned slightly as he watched his son's expression.
Soon after breakfast, Inigo was drawn aside. His smile faltered when he noticed his parents' grim expressions. Lon'Qu spoke, "We've requested Robin to remove you from the battlefield."
Inigo started, "What—"
"Inigo," Olivia interrupted softly, smiling slightly. "It's for your own good."
Anger boiled inside him, as he clenched his teeth. "I've spent years fighting Risen, so why now?"
"It's not permanent," Olivia replied. "It's only until you get better…" she trailed off, unsure of how to finish her sentence. She looked to Lon'Qu for assistance.
"Inigo," he began. "One must never falter when facing an enemy."
Inigo froze, as the conversation became strikingly familiar. She couldn't have, he thought.
"A split second—one second is all an enemy needs to strike his opponent down." Lon'Qu looked away, fist clenching, before continuing: "A moment of hesitation—a moment of weakness is all it takes for a man to die. I've seen countless allies fall due to their own reluctance."
"She told you," Inigo muttered in disbelief.
"It's not Robin's fault Inigo—it's ours. We just want you to be safe," Olivia said, her eyes pleading.
"You're treating me as if I'm a child," he muttered darkly, turning away. He walked away, the heels of his steel boots hitting the ground heavily, the voices of his parents fading as he approached Robin's tent. He entered without notifying her.
Robin sat at her desk, calmly going over the day's schedule. She glanced up before looking back down at her notes. "So, they told you."
"You're removing me from the battlefield."
"That's right," she acknowledged. "You understand, don't you?"
"Frankly, I don't. I've been fighting Risen for the past five years—"
"That's right, there's no doubt you have skill, Inigo," Robin quickly cut him off. "But you, as well as the other children, have little experience with fighting other humans. And if you do, you feel pity for them." She stood from her chair, pushing it back. "So far, when we first found you, we've mainly been fighting Risen. Yesterday's battle was the first one in a while that we fought only humans—bandits at that."
"This army doesn't need any mistakes," she snipped. "If that man wasn't injured, he could have killed you. Fortunately, his arm was crippled and I was there."
"I was planning on letting him escape," Inigo stated, eyes firmly placed on the woman in front of him.
"And if he had? What if he brought back reinforcement? What if you were paired with someone and, Naga forbid, he died due to your carelessness? What then, Inigo?"
Stunned, Inigo stepped back, unable to reply as the scenarios ran through his head in a chaotic jumble. Robin sighed, weariness seeping into her limbs already. "Inigo, leave," she sighed, waving him away. "My decision is final until you can prove to me otherwise."
Anger sparked once more. Bitterly, he snapped, "How could you be so cold?" A response he regretted immediately upon noticing her darkened expression.
"As tactician of this army, it's my duty to make sure everyone survives—emotions be damned," she stated, leveling her gaze. "Now, if you'll excuse me." She brushed past him, heading for the tent flap.
"Wait," he immediately said. She stopped, glancing backwards. "What I said earlier—it was too harsh. I didn't, really, mean any of it."
Robin sighed, closing her eyes briefly. "I accept your apology. But Inigo, my decision still stands."
"At least," he swallowed, "at least tell me how I can prove myself to you."
She glanced at the sword at his hip, before redirecting her attention to him. "I'll be free this evening."
It's been nearly a year since I last updated (whoops). I had terrible writer's block, combined with school and illness and new video games (I blame Pokemon and Lightning Returns; but mainly my writer's block). Meanwhile, I went back and updated the last two chapters so that both are in past tense. I've also added a little bit of content to both.
Hopefully neither character are too OOC. I'm a bit more lenient with Robin since my image of her is slightly different from the one in-game, whereas it's been a while since I've played FE: Awakening so my memory of Inigo's personality is slightly blurred (that, and I may have lost my original game save file, so I'm not motivated to play atm to find out).
Anyways, these two are still one of my most favorite pairings and I still hope to finish this story.
Feedback is always appreciated (especially since it's been a while)!